Monday, December 27, 2010

NSN's Acquisition of Motorola's Public Carrier Awaits Chinese Approval

Nokia Siemens Networks expects to complete its acquisition of the majority of Motorola's public carrier wireless network infrastructure assets in the first quarter of 2011. The company had expected, at the time the transaction was originally announced on July 19, 2010, to complete closing activities by the end of 2010 but the transaction has not yet received regulatory approval from the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce of China, which is continuing its review process. All other necessary regulatory clearances from the U.S., the E.U. and elsewhere have been obtained.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Infonetics: Data Center Equipment Market poised for Growth

Worldwide revenue from data center network equipment, including data center Ethernet switches, application delivery controllers (ADCs), and WAN optimization appliances, grew 2% in 3Q10 over 2Q10 to $1.9 billion, according to newly released report from Infonetics. Growth was led by activity in North America and EMEA.

Infonetics reports that 10G now accounts for 14% of data center switch ports and 10G port penetration is predicted to reach about 50% by 2014, aided by rapidly falling prices.

"A new round of data center upgrades is underway, driven by virtualization, surging amounts of data, the growing need for storage, under-investment in 2009, and renewed life in the financial sector. Even with a relatively flat third quarter and an expected down fourth quarter, the market for data center network equipment is poised to grow 67% in 2010 over 2009 to hit a milestone $7.6 billion worldwide," predicts Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

MetroPCS Picks Devicescape for Mobile-to-Wi-Fi Offload

MetroPCS Communications will deploy Devicescape's Easy WiFi in support of its Android-based smartphones. The embedded Devicescape client enables the handsets to transparently offload data traffic to Devicescape's virtual Easy Wi-Fi network, reducing mobile network congestion and helping optimize network efficiencies. No user configuration or interaction is required.

A custom version of Devicescape's Easy WiFi, called "MetroPCS Easy WiFi", is included in MetroPCS' Android smartphones -- starting with the LG Optimus M and Huawei Ascend. The Devicescape technology is used to mitigate costs and reduce congestion through the diversion of data traffic onto the prolific Easy WiFi network.

Devicescape said its Easy WiFi allows data offload at more than 125,000 public hotspots throughout the United States.

Isocore Uses Ixia to Validate Alcatel-Lucent's Service Router

Isocore used Ixia's gear in recent testing of the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) acting as a broadband network gateway (BNG) for media-rich residential service delivery. The large-scale test covered subscriber management, IPv6 support, video quality assurance, and terabit forwarding capabilities. Specifically, Isocore
employed Ixia's IxNetwork to emulate and scale stateful subscriber hosts using a variety of residential access technologies, while generating high volumes of wire-rate multi-service IPv4 and IPv6 bi-directional traffic flows. Ixia emulated over 250,000 subscribers with various home residence scenarios. Granular QoS settings and analysis enabled Isocore to validate video assurance capabilities and user quality of experience. Ixia was able to deliver high volumes of media-rich traffic over extended periods of time -- a critical step in ensuring the test set-up represented real-world field deployments.

Sprint Hires Qwest's CFO

Sprint named Joseph J. Euteneuer, as its new chief financial officer (CFO), succeeding Bob Brust, who is retiring. Sprint expects Euteneuer, who currently serves as executive vice president, chief financial officer for Qwest Communications International Inc., to join the company following the completion of the proposed merger between Qwest and CenturyLink Inc. Brust, 67, will remain as CFO until that time.

Before serving as Qwest's CFO, Euteneuer served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of XM Satellite Radio Holdings.

Xilinx Trims December Quarter Guidance Citing Wireless

Xilinx now expects December quarter sales to be down approximately 7% to 9% sequentially, compared with earlier sales guidance of flat to down 4% sequentially. The company said this decreased sales guidance is primarily related to weaker than anticipated sales to a few large communications customers, specifically in the wireless segment.

AboveNet Expands Fiber Network in Seattle

AboveNet has expanded its network in Seattle with new fiber rings that provide short, low latency routes from downtown Seattle to the Sabey Data Center Complex in Tukwila and include connections into the new American Life data center. The company's fiber network in Seattle currently spans 250 route miles stretching from Mukilteo to the north to Tacoma in the south, with routes throughout downtown Seattle, Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond, and around Lake Washington.

FCC Opens on Next Gen 9-1-1

The FCC adopted a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking public comment on Next Generation 911 (NG911), which would update the nation's 9-1-1 emergency calling system with the addition of text, photo, and video capabilities. Already, 70% of 9-1-1 calls come from mobile phones and most of these users are frequent users of SMS and picture messaging. However, most 9-1-1 call centers are not capable of receiving text, photo, video or other incoming data.

Specifically, the FCC is seeking public comment on:

  • The technical feasibility and limitations of text messaging video streaming and photos;

  • Consumer privacy issues, particularly related to the sharing of personal electronic medical data;

  • Development of technical and policy standards;

  • Consumer education and awareness; and

  • Inter-governmental coordination and coordination within the public safety community.

Carrier-Class Availability -- "No Upside to Downtime"

Presented by John Fryer, President, Service Availability Forum

FCC's New Internet Rules: Transparency, No Blocking, Reasonable Net Management

The FCC approved new rules governing the management of Internet traffic, with the three Democrats on the commission voting in favor of the measure and the two Republicans voting against.

Key elements of the new Order include:

Rule 1: Transparency -- A person engaged in the provision of broadband Internet access service shall publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings.

Rule 2: No Blocking -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block lawful content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices, subject to reasonable network management. A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider's voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network

Rule 3: No Unreasonable Discrimination -- A person engaged in the provision of fixed broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not unreasonably discriminate in transmitting lawful network traffic over a consumer's broadband Internet access service. Reasonable network management shall not constitute unreasonable discrimination.

Significantly, "reasonable network management" is defined as follows: "A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user's choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network."

The FCC rules go on to say that "Pay for Priority" delivery of packets on wireline broadband networks is likely to run afoul of the "no unreasonable discrimination" clause because it would represent a significant departure from current practices.

Mobile broadband is largely exempt from the "reasonable network management" clause, as the document acknowledges that this market is an earlier-stage platform than fixed broadband, and it is rapidly evolving.

The FCC also acknowledges that "specialized services," such as some broadband providers' existing facilities-based VoIP and IP-video offerings, differ from broadband Internet access service. The FCC said it will continue to monitor whether these specialized services are bypassing open Internet protections, supplanting the open Internet, and enabling anticompetitive conduct.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said "today a strengthened FCC is adopting rules to ensure that the Internet remains a powerful platform for innovation and job creation; to empower consumers and entrepreneurs; and protect free expression. These rules will increase certainty in the marketplace; spur investment both at the edge and in the core of our broadband networks, and contribute to a 21st century job-creation engine in the United States."

Speaking on behalf of the opposition, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell said his dissent to the measures is based on four primary concerns: "1) Nothing is broken in the Internet access market that needs
fixing; 2) The FCC does not have the legal authority to issue these rules; 3) The proposed rules are likely to cause irreparable harm; and 4) Existing law and Internet governance structures provide ample consumer protection in the event a systemic market failure occurs."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

France's SFR Picks NSN for 3G Upgrade

SFR has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks to build extra capacity in its existing 3G network. NSN will supply its LTE-ready Flexi Multiradio Base Station to support enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) services. The contract also covers a range of software, network planning and optimization services. The companies have already hosted a live demonstration of Dual-cell HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology, which provides up to 42 Mbps download speeds, twice the current peak rate. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Isocore Validates Alcatel-Lucent's Service Router

Isocore has tested and verified the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router (SR) as a Broadband Network Gateway (BNG) for Residential Service Delivery. Isocore tested the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 SR BNG functionality, including subscriber management, IPv6, video quality assurance and terabit forwarding capabilities necessary to deliver rich streaming video content that consumers demand from their broadband service providers.

Specifically, the test bed mirrored a deployable network comprised of two Alcatel-Lucent 7750 SRs configured as BNGs and another two 7750 SRs configured as a core node (supporting LTS) and an Internet gateway node (supporting LNS) respectively. This configuration is typical of a service provider offering both retail and wholesale Internet services. Using external linkIxia test solutions, 250,000 stateful subscriber hosts were emulated using a mixture of PPPoE and DHCP-based subscriber management protocols. A mixture of routed and bridged residential gateways were configured along with a mixture of IPv4 (with CG-NAT), IPv6 and dual stack (IPv4 and IPv6) address models. This configuration is typical of a service provider supporting customers at various stages of legacy and next generation technologies.

Hierarchical quality of service was used for all subscribers to simulate tiered service offerings. Application assurance was enabled on one BNG by emulating 125,000 IPTV STBs that collectively generated 4,000 requests per second for FCC and RET. The other BNG was configured with PerfectStream delivering 700 video channels by monitoring and selecting video packets between active and backup flows. Forced control plane switch-overs were trigger throughout the tests to demonstrate high availability and non-stop service delivery. This configuration is typical of a service provider delivering the highest quality of experience.

Nasuni Secures $15 Million for Cloud Storage Gateway

Nasuni, a start-up based in Natick, Mass., raised $15 million in Series B funding for its cloud gateway.

Nasuni offer a file server that leverages the unlimited capacity and reliability of the cloud. It runs as a virtual appliance and delivers primary storage, which Nasuni says is indistinguishable from local storage, from an array of leading cloud storage providers.

The new funding was led by Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from existing investors, North Bridge Venture Partners and Sigma Partners, who led the company's Series A funding in March 2009. Investment in Nasuni now totals $23 million for the two rounds.
  • Nasuni is headed by Andres Rodriguez, who previously was founder and CTO of Archivas, which developed an enterprise-class cloud storage system and was acquired by Hitachi Data Systems in 2006. Earlier, he was CTO of the New York Times, where he drove digital strategy at NYTimes and

Verizon Pumps up FiOS for Business to 150/35 Mbps

Verizon will begin offering FiOS Internet for Business with speeds up to 150/35 Mbps to small businesses in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Verizon's newest Internet speed provides three times the downstream speed previously available to FiOS customers.

FiOS Internet 150/35 Mbps service is available in parts of California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas and Virginia. The service is also available to some medium-sized businesses.

FCC Meeting Starts at 10:30 ET

The FCC's open meeting to vote on new rules for managing Internet traffic will start on Tuesday, December 21st at 10:30 am ET. The FCC is offer a live webcast of the meeting.

HP Launches Cisco Trade-in Promotion

HP kicked off a trade-in promotion for qualifying U.S. customers interested in swapping Cisco networking equipment for new HP gear. HP estimates that nearly $9 billion in Cisco networking equipment is approaching end of life or service in 2011. Its new program enables clients to replace the Cisco gear with standards-based HP solutions. Various discounts and incentives are offered for Cisco Catalyst 2960/S Series, 3560/E Series/X Series, 3750/E Series/X Series, 4500 E Series, 4900 Series or 6500 Series, as well as Cisco Nexus 5000 Series or 7000 Series switches.

Earthlink to Acquire ONE Communications

EarthLink agreed to acquire One Communications for $370 million.

One Comm, which is based in Burlington, Massachusetts, is a privately held, multi-regional integrated telecommunications solutions provider. The company serves approximately 113,000 small and mid-sized business customers in 17 states across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Upper Midwest, including the major metropolitan markets of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and the District of Columbia.

One Comm's network consists of 629 collocations, connected by more than 11,700 route miles of fiber.

EarthLink plans to integrate One Comm into its newly established EarthLink Business division, which currently consists of products and capabilities of its former New Edge Network, Deltacom and EarthLink Business Solutions divisions.

EarthLink said its recent mergers, including this one, will give it nationwide IP network with underlying fiber assets in 30 of the top 50 MSAs in the country. The combined fiber network will span approximately 28,000 route miles across 27 states, with 923 collocations, 55 IP and circuit-based switches and 68 metro fiber rings. With the addition of One Comm, EarthLink will have nearly 3,500 employees nationwide.
  • Earlier this month, EarthLink completed its previously announced acquisition of ITC^DeltaCom, a leading provider of integrated communications services to customers in the southeastern United States, in a transaction valued at approximately $524 million. Under the deal, ITC^DeltaCom (Deltacom) stockholders received $3.00 in cash per each share of Deltacom common stock in the transaction.

    EarthLink will now begin integrating its New Edge Networks and EarthLink Business Services operations with Deltacom and will market the combined services under the 'EarthLink Business' brand name.

    Deltacom operates a 16,400 mile fiber optic infrastructure in the Southeast – over 75% of which is owned or controlled under Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) agreements – including a 14-state SONET backbone with 35 metro fiber rings, 294 collocations and 20 voice and data switches. Deltacom currently serves over 32,000 small and mid-size businesses, multi-location enterprises, government agencies and wholesale customers in the southeast with services including MPLS and IP.

Australia's NBN Co. Releases its Action Plan

Australia's NBN Co. published detailed financial and operational plans, including its capital expenditure budgets, network architecture, a 30-year forecast of take-up rates, and financing as well return-on-investment assessments for the government's A$27.5 billion in the national broadband project.

The announcement and press conference also included a discussion on the open network architecture, Telstra's role and cost recovery in decommissioning the existing copper infrastructure, and pricing, which will include a basic service offering with a download speed of 12/1 Mbps at a uniform national wholesale access price of $24 a month.

NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley said the goal is to provide broadband throughout metropolitan, regional and rural Australia in a cost-effective way. "Building a genuinely national broadband network in a country such as Australia requires a central role for the Government, as no commercial enterprise would be likely to fund such an endeavour," Quigley said.

Significantly, NBN Co expects to generate an Internal Rate of Return of 7% per annum - in excess of the Government's cost of funds, or long-term bond rate. Commercial negotiations remain on-going with Telstra and other parties, but NBN Co. expects these to wrap up shortly and full construction work to underway next year.

Some key elements highlighted in the NBN Co. plan:

  • NBN Co. will connect 93% of homes, schools and workplaces with optical fibre delivering broadband services with speeds of up to 1 Gbps.

  • 4% of premises will be covered with a fixed wireless service capable of delivering 12 Mbps downlinks at the edges of each cell. It will be fixed wireless with no roaming.

  • The 3% of rural Australian location outside of the fibre or wireless footprint will be covered by satellite with speeds up to 12 Mbps. Two Ka-band satellites will be launched by 2015. Arrangements are being made for an interim service.

  • There will be a progressive disconnection of copper and HFC services and decommissioning and deactivation of Telstra's copper and HFC networks as the FTTP network is rolled out. NBN Co. will make use of existing Telstra exchange space as well as its existing ducts and conduits.

  • The NBN will cover 13 million premises by 2021 and involve installing 181,000km of Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network (GPON) and 57,000km of transit fibre.

  • Over the 9.5 year construction period, NBN Co plans to build or lease 120 Points of Interconnect and 980 Fibre Serving Areas.

  • NBN Co will also pass all greenfields developments by the end of deployment, representing some 2 million premises in the fibre footprint.

  • Deployment of the NBN is planned to take place concurrently across multiple Rollout Regions. NBN Co is already constructing five First Release Sites on the mainland, and has announced the locations of 19 further Second Release Sites.

  • By the end of 2020, the network rollout will be complete.

  • Total revenue to NBN Co for its wholesale service to the end of the construction period is forecast to be $20.8 billion.

  • Annual revenue is forecast at $5.8 billion in FY2021 and $7.6 billion in FY2025.

  • Total capital expenditure to the end of the construction period is forecast at $35.9 billion.

  • Total operational expenditure net of revenue over the same period is $1.0 billion.

  • The Australian federal government will initially contribute equity of $27.5 billion. This will be paid back with a return over the life of the project. Other funding will come from operational earnings and private debt.

  • From FY2015 NBN Co will begin raising funds through capital markets.

  • Together the equity and debt funding add to a total funding requirement of $40.9 billion including funding costs.

A 40-minute webcast with Mike Quigley is on the NBNCo website.

AT&T to Acquire Qualcomm's 700 MHz FLO Spectrum

AT&T agreed to acquire Qualcomm's lower 700 MHz D and E Block (Channel 55 and 56) unpaired U.S. spectrum licenses for $1.925 billion. The sale follows Qualcomm's previously announced plan to restructure its FLO TV business. Qualcomm will now shut down its FLO TV business and network in March 2011.

The spectrum covers more than 300 million people total nationwide: 12 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D and E block spectrum covers more than 70 million people in five of the top 15 U.S. metropolitan areas — New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and San Francisco; 6 MHz of Lower 700 MHz D block spectrum covers more than 230 million people across the rest of the U.S.

The deal requires FCC and Department of Justice approval, but the companies anticipate closing the sale during the second half of calendar 2011.

Qualcomm confirmed that it is integrating carrier aggregation technology into its chipset roadmap to enable supplemental downlink and intends to market the technology globally. The carrier aggregation technology, which is specified in 3GPP Release 10, enables unpaired spectrum bands to be used in conjunction with existing paired bands to obtain substantial improvements in downlink performance.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

AOptix Wins $11.4 Million DARPA Grant for Free Space Optical

AOptix Technologies has been awarded a $11.4 million contract to deliver wireless air and ground optical terminals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Free Space Optical Experimental Network Experiment (FOENEX) program.

Under subcontract to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL), AOptix will build and flight-validate their Free Space Optical (FSO) terminals at up to 10Gbps and 200 kilometers on various aircraft as well as static ground stations.

"This program will build on years of successful flight test programs where AOptix has delivered a number of firsts in bandwidth and distance for FSO communications" says Dean Senner, president and CEO of AOptix. "We're working very hard with our partners to deploy ultra-high bandwidth solutions, bringing on-line, real-time, sensor data communications capabilities to enable warfighter operations."

The AOptix wireless bi-directional optical terminals utilize a unique patented, single aperture, adaptive optics method of beam control to compensate for real-time atmospheric turbulence while maintaining lock between two terminals. Video, voice and data is transmitted through the air over an infrared, low power, FSO laser link.

Motorola Spin-Offs Make Market Debut

The two divisions of Motorola made their market debuts on Friday with the launch of "when issued" shares. The official split occurs on January 4.

Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI) is the company's smartphone division. It closed at $25 on Friday.

Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) is the company's division that includes public safety radios, handheld scanners and telecom gear. It closed at $40.51.

Both companies will continue to use the Motorola brand.http://

A1 Telekom Austria Pushes DSL Capacity with ALU

A1 Telekom Austria is now reaching 40% of all Austrian households and commercial businesses through its nationwide GigaNet, which uses FTTC (Fiber-to-the-curb) and FTTEx (Fiber-to-the-exchange, also known as VDSL@CO), to deliver high-speed Internet service.

The carrier now its pushing the envelope of its copper access network by demonstrating next-gen technologies such as VDSL Vectoring and the so-called "Phantom Mode". In the course of the demo, using a combination of Bonding, Vectoring and Phantom Mode, downstream speeds up to 390 Mbps at 400 meters were shown.

"Complementing our fiber infrastructure and continuously increasing wireless capacities, we want to get the most out of our existing copper-based network," said Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, General Manager A1 Telekom Austria. "This is how we can provide our customers with the highest bandwidths in the shortest timeframe, especially in regions where fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) build-outs have not yet been planned."

Alcatel-Lucent said DSL vectoring is capable of delivering a significant increase in downstream capacity by preventing interference or "crosstalk" between copper lines.

"Telecom service providers have invested a great deal in their copper infrastructure and for economic and environmental reasons it makes sense to continue to use this valuable asset as long as possible - even as they move traffic to fiber," said Harald Himmer, Head of Alcatel-Lucent's business in Austria. "As a leader in fixed broadband we are able to dramatically increase bandwidth rates with our innovative technologies. With commercial availability, we can provide even more customers with higher bandwidth along with world-class quality services."

Swisscom Partners with IWB on Open Access FTTH in Basel

Swisscom and IWB (Industrielle Werke Basel), the local utilities operator, announced a plan to bring FTTH connections to all households and businesses in Basel by the end of 2017. Under the joint venture, Swisscom will assume 60% and IWB 40% of a total investment of around CHF 170 million. The fibre-optic cables that have already been installed by Swisscom and IWB in Basel will be included in the joint venture between the two companies. This will substantially reduce the amount of construction work required in Basel. IWB has assumed responsibility for overall coordination of construction and operation.

The rollout will take an open architecture approach. Four fibres will reach every premise. IWB's Layer 1 offer of dark optical fibres guarantees that other providers have non-discriminatory access to the fibre-optic network in Basel.

Basel will be one of the very first cities in Switzerland to enjoy city-wide FTTH.

Swisscom has already installed cables in large parts of the city of Basel. These are being incorporated in their entirety into the joint venture. IWB started a joint pilot project and handled much of the preliminary work. IWB will soon be launching a product range for service providers who want to offer products and services on the fibre optic network in Basel.

ST Intros New Set-top-box Decoder/Demodulators

STMicroelectronics unveiled two new System-on-Chip ICs that allow standard-definition (SD) or high-definition (HD) equipment to share the same printed-circuit-board (PCB) design. The new devices are based on the widely used STi7167 and STi5267, respectively. Targeting free-to-air, cable and terrestrial STBs, as well as hybrid products with added support for IPTV, each device combines the STB decoder with DVB-C cable and DVB-T terrestrial demodulators, plus optional Ethernet support. Each device supports targeted functions for cost-optimized STBs with built-in security features. Both are implemented in 55nm process technology.

AT&T Boosts Dividend by 2.4%

AT&T announced a 2.4 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend and a 300 million share repurchase authorization, representing about 5 percent of outstanding shares. The quarterly dividend rate has risen from $0.42 to $0.43 a share on a quarterly basis, which would be an increase from $1.68 to $1.72 a share on an annualized basis.

Mitsubishi Electric to Launch WCDMA Power Amplifiers

Mitsubishi Electric will launch five new gallium arsenic (GaAs) power amplifiers for WCDMA devices. Mitsubishi Electric said it has achieved an industry-leading power added efficiency (PAE) of 45 percent, enabling lower power consumption and heat emission in data terminals. The design incorporates GaAs bipolar field effect transistor (BiFET) technology for high PAE and high level of integration.

Nortel Completes Sale of Ottawa Campus

Nortel Networks completed the sale of its Ottawa Carling Campus to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for a cash purchase price of CDN$208 million. Nortel will continue to occupy parts of the campus while continuing work on its global restructuring, including work under the transition services agreements with the various buyers of Nortel's sold businesses.

The purchaser has exercised early termination rights to a lease held by Ciena, the purchaser of Nortel's Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet (MEN) business. This shortens the lease from 10 years to 5 years. This resulted, pursuant to a lease with Ciena, in the payment to Ciena of US$33.5 million from funds escrowed in connection with the closing of the MEN sale.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Broadband Forum: Fiber Work Advances as Copper "Still in the Game"

An interview with Tom Starr, President and Chairman, Broadband Forum

Bell Labs Partners with Belgium's IBBT

Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs and Belgian research institute IBBT are establishing a joint research lab to focus on video communications. The joint lab aims to efficiently integrate fundamental and applied research in order to unlock the value of these new dimensions of video communications within the marketplace. Specifically, the joint lab expects to introduce capabilities imbued with "intelligence" to analyze the content of a video transmission as well as understand user preferences in order to create a viewer experience that is more relevant, more valuable, and more compelling. A complementary initiative will introduce a capability for high-speed access networks to accommodate this information when deciding the optimal means for delivering that content, adapting as conditions and requirements change.

"Engaging in collaborative programs with other research institutions is essential to the Bell Labs research model and an area in which we have extensive experience," said Danny Goderis, vice-president, Bell Labs. "We look forward to employing our competencies in forming such collaborations in order to make the joint research lab with IBBT a true success story."

euNetworks Builds Low-Latency London to Stockholm Route

euNetworks launched a new ultra low latency route from London to Stockholm dedicated to the financial services community. euNetworks has reduced the previous leading latency on the London to Stockholm route by 12%. This new straight point-to-point route offers a round trip time of 22.4 milliseconds.

The company noted high demand for new low-latency routes introduced in Q3 linking Slough to London and London to Frankfurt.

RadiSys Trims Guidance

RadiSys anticipates its Q4 2010 revenue and earnings to be lower than its previously stated guidance, or between $62 and $64 million, down from the previous guidance of $68 to $72 million. The company expects a GAAP fourth quarter net loss of between $0.15 and $0.20 per share, down from the prior guidance of breakeven to net income of $0.05 per diluted share.

"While much of our business is performing well relative to our original fourth quarter guidance, we recently received news that our projected fourth quarter revenue with a large North America media server end customer is expected to be significantly lower. Specifically, our end customer reprioritized their capital expenditures in the quarter and removed a planned set of media server feature enhancements from their fourth quarter deployment programs. We have a long term deployment history with this end customer and expect that both feature and capacity upgrades will continue to be a key part of their plans going into 2011 and beyond," stated Scott Grout, RadiSys President and CEO.

SFR Deploys its First 100G Link with Cisco and Ciena

SFR has established its first 100 Gbps backbone line between Paris and Bordeaux using equipment from Ciena and Cisco.

SFR also confirmed its first 42 Mbps HSPA+ connections on the 3G mobile network at a trial site in Lyon. The company also noted that customers in Paris, Lyon and Marseille can already enjoy mobile broadband at up to 21 Mbps with 300 sites connected to its network in late 2010.

Canada's Barrett Xplore Selects Ciena's Carrier Ethernet for 4G Backhaul

Barrett Xplore, which is deploying a 4G network for rural Canada, has selected Ciena's ActivEdge 3920 Service Delivery Switch for Ethernet-based backhaul. The deployment marks Ciena's first, major nationwide deployment of its Carrier Ethernet Services Delivery (CESD) in Canada.

Ciena noted that its CESD portfolio has been deployed by more than 100 carriers, wireless service providers, cable operators and new entrants in 25 countries, primarily for mobile backhaul and business services.

Bridgewater Signs 4-Year, $56M Deal with Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless awarded a new four-year framework contract to Bridgewater Systems signed for products and services supporting its network expansion. The contract was valued at approximately US$ 56 million.

Under the agreement, Bridgewater will provide mobile control solutions as well as maintenance and support services for all current and future 3G solutions. In addition, the agreement provides the framework for Bridgewater to deliver new products and services to support Verizon Wireless' ongoing network expansion across multiple access networks.

Blue Coat Names Steve Daheb as CMO

Blue Coat Systems has appointed Steve Daheb as chief marketing officer (CMO) and senior vice president. Mr. Daheb was most recently the chief marketing officer for Emulex Corporation. He previously served in a number of executive sales, marketing and business development roles for a variety of networking companies, including BlueArc, Tasman Networks, Brocade and Lucent/Ascend. His

Deutsche Telekom Extends 5-Year Contract with René Obermann

The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom has extended René Obermann's contract as Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG by a further five years. His current contract expires on October 31, 2011. The new contract will run until the end of October 2016.

IMEWE Submarine Cable Enters Service

The new India Middle East Western Europe (IMEWE) submarine cable linking eight countries has entered commercial service. The 13,000-km cable, which has a potential capacity of 3.84 Tbps, serves eight countries: India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Italy and France. Carrier partners include France Telecom-Orange, Bharti, Etisalat, Ogero, Pakistan Telecom, Saudi Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle and Tata Communications. The project represents a total investment of around US$480 million, about US$60 million of which came from France Telecom-Orange.

Nokia Files Additional Patent Claims Against Apple

Nokia filed claims in the UK High Court, Dusseldorf and Mannheim District Courts in Germany and the District Court of the Hague, Netherlands, alleging that Apple infringes Nokia patents in many of its products sold in these countries, including iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.

"These actions add 13 further Nokia patents to the 24 already asserted against Apple in the US International Trade Commission and the Delaware and Wisconsin Federal courts," said Paul Melin, vice president, Intellectual Property at Nokia. "The Nokia inventions protected by these patents include several which enable compelling user experiences. For example, using a wiping gesture on a touch screen to navigate content, or enabling access to constantly changing services with an on-device app store, both filed more than ten years before the launch of the iPhone."

NDTV: Raids in India's 2G Spectrum Scandal

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids on homes and offices of prominent figures linked to the 2G spectrum licensing scandal. Targets included Niira Radia, a prominent lobbyist associated with Tata and Radiance, and Pradip Baijal, who served as chief of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) from 2003 to 2006 and who later joined Radia's firm.

Broadband Forum Charts Progress in 2010 -- Resurgence in Activity as Industry Looks to Hybrid Fiber/Copper

At its quarterly meeting last week in San Francisco, The Broadband Forum approved a record eleven new technical reports, released a new white paper on Unified MPLS, and appointed a new Technical Chairman. The meeting also drew the highest attendance of members and guests in recent years. The Forum noted an unprecedented level of contributions for technical reports, white papers and tutorials -- all indications of a resurgence in activity as the industry looks to next gen broadband access solutions.

The newly approved specifications ranged from IPv6 to TR-069 Software Module Management to DSL Quality Management.

New work items for the Forum include hybrid fiber-copper solutions for 4th Generation Broadband (4GBB).

The Forum has appointed Christophe Alter of France Telecom Orange to serve as its Technical Chairman, replacing Gavin Young of C&W, who has held the position since 1998. Christophe is responsible for France Telecom Orange Group' strategy regarding broadband networks standards. Since he first joined the Broadband Forum in December 2004, Christophe Alter has been a main contributor in the End to End Architecture Working Group and in the Fiber Access Network Working Group and has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 2008.

Among its accomplishments for 2010, the Broadband Forum noted its collaboration with the Full Service Access Network (FSAN) to expedite GPON deployments, enhance multi-vendor interoperability and enable better broadband network fiber integration globally. A joint initiative with the HomeGrid Forum was also announced, with the aim of delivering a global compliance and interoperability testing program for products using technology -- ITU-T's unified wired home networking standard. And another strategic relationship forged was with 3GPP focused on broadband convergence specifications and multi-service architecture developments.

"I am delighted to be taking over as Technical Chair at such a busy and positive time for the Broadband Forum," said Christophe Alter. "As a member I have watched the Forum grow in stature and authority but also increase enormously the number of technical reports, the range of topics in our scope and the intensity of our relationships with other organizations. It will be part of my role to manage this growth and to co-ordinate the groups so that they are able to deliver a comprehensive body of standards from over 1500 contributions we receive from members each year."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Telecom Italia's Franco Bernabe Elected as Chairman of GSMA

The GSMA has elected Franco Bernabe, CEO of Telecom Italia, as its new Chairman for a two-year term, from January 2011 through December 2012. Jon Fredrik Baksaas, President and CEO, Telenor Group, was elected as Deputy Chairman. Rob Conway continues as CEO of GSMA.

In addition, 22 other people were elected to the GSMA Board.

BT and Saudi Telecom Link MPLS Networks

Saudi Telecom Company (STC) and BT announced an interconnection of their MPLS networks.
BT has established a local MPLS Point of Presence (PoP) in Saudi Arabia to be operated by STC in conjunction with its own national and regional MPLS network.

MetroPCS Launches LTE in Boston, NYC and Sac

MetroPCS Communications has expanded its LTE network to the Boston, New York City and Sacramento metropolitan areas. MetroPCS LTE plans start at $55 per month including taxes and regulatory fees. Initially, METROPCS is providing Samsung Craft LTE handset with unlimited talk, text and enhanced entertainment and web browsing features.

MetroPCS' 4G LTE services are now available in nine metropolitan areas, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco. MetroPCS has plans to expand its 4G services into more metropolitan areas later this year and into early 2011, including Atlanta, Jacksonville, Miami, Orlando and Tampa.

ADTRAN Intros Unified Threat Management Platforms

ADTRAN introduced its NetVanta 2000 Series of Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions. The NetVanta 2000 Series includes four security appliances, each with one year of Continuous Threat Protection, SSL and IPSec VPN clients, anti-virus and anti-spyware clients, and all managed under a centralized global management system. The gateways provide real-time protection against viruses, spyware, intrusions, software vulnerabilities and other malicious code for business customers. The NetVanta series also provides application intelligence for identifying, categorizing and controlling applications on the network.

Solarflare Releases SFP+ Transceiver Module

Solarflare announced availability of a new SFP+ 10GBASE-SR optical transceiver module.
The new low-power module supports multiple types of optical fiber, including OM1, OM2 and OM3 multi-mode fiber, with standard LC connectors, and can drive OM3 fiber up to 300 meters to support cluster, data center and enterprise networking applications. Solarflare's SFP+ transceiver ensures its 10GbE server adapters deliver high-performance, low-latency, low-power and scalable I/O virtualization. The new SFP+ transceiver module is tested and compatible with all of Solarflare's single-port and dual-port SFP+ 10GbE server adapters in both enterprise and mid-range products.

Solarflare also offers a complete 10GBASE-T solution for twisted pair copper cabling based on its own physical layer 10GBASE-T ASICs. With the addition of the new SFP+ module, Solarflare now provides a complete optical fiber solution, featuring the SFP+ adapter and SFP+ optical modules.

Ericsson Wins 7-year Managed Services Contract with 3Italia

3 Italia awarded a seven-year managed services contract to Ericsson to modernize its IT infrastructure and systems including hardware and software, IP connectivity, operating systems and storage. The contract covers data center consolidation with hardware modernization, upgrade and consolidation of 3 Italia's software application domains, as well as transformation of operations and business support systems (OSS/BSS), for example systems for billing and customer relationship management. The new agreement builds on the managed services partnership established between 3 Italia and Ericsson in 2005. 3 Italia's current three data centers will be consolidated into two, located in Rome and Milan.

EC Approves NSN + Motorola Deal

The European Commission has cleared the acquisition of Motorola Network Business by Nokia Siemens Networks. The deal was found not to significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

Google Hires Milo Medin to Head Fiber Initiative

Google has appointed Milo Medin as Vice President, Access Services.

Google also said that it has delayed the selection of its first fiber community. Nearly 1,100 communities across the country have sought to participate in the Google fiber project, and the company said it needs more time to make its selection. A decision is expected early next year.
  • In February 2010, Google announced plans to rollout an "experimental" fiber-to-the-home network in test markets across the United States. Specifically, Google plans to offer a 1 Gbps home service at a competitive price to at least 50,000 and potentially up to 500,000 people.

  • Milo Medin previously served as co-founder of Chief Technology Officer of Excite@Home, a pioneer in residential broadband service, and later at M2Z Networks.

Long Term HSPA Evolution Promises 650 Mbps

An initiative is underway to push HSPA to downlink speeds of more than 650 Mbps by 2013.

Long Term HSPA Evolution, which is being driven by Nokia Siemens Networks and T-Mobile USA, aims to match the mobile broadband speeds promised by LTE Advanced by leveraging many of the same techniques. Long Term HSPA Evolution features would be backwards compatible and can be used together with existing WCDMA and HSPA mobiles on the same carriers. Key features of Long Term HSPA Evolution were accepted during the plenary meeting of 3GPP RAN held last week. These include:

  • HSDPA Multicarrier evolution: Combines up to eight carriers and provides peak data rates of up to 672 Mbps along with improving spectrum utilization. To overcome operators' spectrum fragmentation constraints, HSDPA carrier aggregation enables carriers from more than one frequency band to be combined.

  • HSDPA Multipoint transmission: Significantly increases the cell edge data rate by coordinating and combining signals from multiple antennas.

  • Dual antenna beamforming and MIMO in uplink: Improves the uplink performance with dual-antenna transmission, doubling the uplink peak data rate and improving the user average data rate by 30% with 2x2 MIMO/ beam forming. With 2x4 MIMO, over 100% increase in average user data rates can be achieved due to beam forming gain and four receive antennas in the base station.

The detailed specification work to deliver these features will take place in RAN working groups. Other Long Term HSPA Evolution features are expected to be considered in subsequent 3GPP meetings.

"The demand for higher data rates and mobile broadband growth continues to push the need for advances in both HSPA and LTE technologies," added Keith Sutton, head of the WCDMA business line for Nokia Siemens Networks. "We are thus equally committed to both technologies. As a leader in HSPA evolution, we have already demonstrated data rates exceeding 100 Mbps at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Today, we also have the largest number of HSPA customers with nearly 200 operators worldwide. Driving the standardization of the new technology is a natural extension of our efforts to realize the full potential of HSPA."

"We strongly believe in continued HSPA evolution in parallel to the further development of LTE and LTE Advanced," said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. "Long Term HSPA Evolution will allow us to enhance our 4G mobile broadband network beyond its current and planned near term capabilities, and provide room for considerable growth and speed enhancements. As customer demand for wireless data increases, we are well positioned to compete based on the speed, breadth and evolution path of our mobile broadband service."

A white paper is posted on the NSN website:

Long Term HSPA Evolution - Mobile Broadband Evolution Beyond 3GPP Release 10 --

Finland's Elisa Selects NSN for Mobile Upgrade

Elisa, a leading Nordic communications services provider, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks for the first phase of its LTE rollout, 3G expansions and upgrades as well as GSM modernization. As part of the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and high capacity Multicontroller platform in the network. With these common platforms Elisa will significantly cut operational costs for GSM, 3G and LTE. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Choosing a local Finnish vendor, Nokia Siemens Networks, across our 4G, 3G and GSM technologies further tightens the good relationship between the companies. We are well prepared for providing a fantastic end user experience in new services via the 4G/LTE network. In parallel, we will significantly expand the 3G service and modernize the GSM network. This will guarantee also in the future the industry leading mobile broadband performance we already have for our customers," said Timo Katajisto, executive vice president, Elisa.

"We share a long history with Elisa since the first GSM call in 1991 and we are committed in building Elisa's new LTE network with the same pioneering enthusiasm and to providing the best and most cost-efficient solution for evolving all three radio technologies into one single radio access network (single RAN)," said Esa Harju, head of the Nordic and Baltic business, Nokia Siemens Networks.

Q&A on Long Term HSPA Evolution with Nokia Siemens Networks

Karri Kuoppamaki, Head of Technology; Karri Ranta-aho, Senior Specialist, 3GPP Standardization; and Ajit Kahaduwe, Head of Industry Environments.

Converge! -- What is the significance of Long Term HSPA Evolution for the industry?

NSN -- This is a pretty significant milestone. We as a company are firm believers in HSPA and that is why we are part of this initiative for driving further enhancements of 3GPP standards and taking HSPA beyond its current capabilities. The target we have in mind is to achieve peak data rates in excess of 650 Mbps in the downlink -- a significant improvement from where we are today.

Converge! -- How will you achieve this performance?

NSN We are looking at techniques that have already been discussed for LTE, such as using multiple antennas, carrier aggregation, and multiple transmission. We are not really reinventing the wheel here so much as taking existing building blocks and applying them in the context of HSPA. We are using proven technologies to enhance HSPA.

The existing 3GPP Release 10 already extends the carrier bandwidth beyond dual-carrier (already implemented in some networks today) to allow for 4 carriers. What we are now proposing for 3GPP Release 11 is to extend that to 8 carriers. This would cover 40 MHz of spectrum in one direction.

Converge! -- Is there a possibility of going beyond 8 carriers? What is the physical limit?

NSN Technically, the sky is the limit, but realistically it is a question of how much bandwidth an operator has at its disposal. Even if the technology would allow you to do more, there is only so much a network operator can actually posses and use for ordinary communication. So these 8 carriers would correspond to 40 MHz, which is already pushing the limit for many operators.

Converge! -- Do you need new silicon in the devices to enable 8 carriers?

NSN - That is correct. We will need a new round of devices, but as we introduce the new enhancements, we are not obsolescing the old devices. They will continue to coexist in the same bands.

Converge! -- Do you need changes in the base stations?

NSN - NSN's Flexi base station was developed to be modular and cater to future needs. Of course there will be some spectrum specifics that need to be looked at, for example on which bands this is deployed. But, in principle, we are evolving our base station for this.

Converge! -- Is Long Term HSPA Evolution an efficient use of spectrum as compared to LTE?

NSN It is an efficient use of spectrum and having a wider carrier is also going to bring benefits. You have more spectrum to schedule at your disposal which is going to improve the efficiency. There are benefits to going beyond 2-carriers from an efficiency standpoint. Some efficiency gains come from being able to choose which carrier to schedule at any given instant, so having more carrier to choose from is a benefit.

When we compare this to LTE, we are now talking about a comparable number of bits per hertz in efficiency.

Converge! -- Are there notable trade-offs for Long Term HSPA Evolution in terms of the number of simultaneous users, range or building penetration?

NSN We don't think there are any such trade-offs. In fact, some of the additional items being looked at for the next 3GPP Release will improve factors such as coverage. For instance, beam forming will improve data coverage beyond what it is today. In terms of the number of simultaneous users, these technologies do not effect that either. Generally, whenever we add bandwidth to a system, that automatically increases the number of simultaneous users that can be supported.

Converge! -- What are the implications for power efficiency for devices and for base stations?

NSN When we are talking of higher bandwidth and greater data flows, that means more processing is required and this puts more stress on the device's battery while the transmission is ongoing. On the other hand, the higher bandwidth means the transmission time will be reduced, so we may end up saving battery power.

Regarding the base station, it's no different from other transmissions. It comes down mainly to the power of the amplifier. For the actual baseband operation, the more users that we can support with a single processing element, the more energy efficient it will become. It is also good to remember that the existing HSPA standards are introducing a number of capabilities -- such as continuous packet connectivity -- that reduce power consumption and improve battery life. These are also applicable to Long Term HSPA Evolution.

Converge! -- Will Long Term HSPA Evolution be more suitable for the large, macro base stations or is it suitable for pico cells as well?

NSN From a technology perspective, there is no difference. It will come down to economics and the available bandwidth of the operators. The antenna placement may make this more applicable to smaller base stations, but cases may vary.

Converge! -- Which operators will be more interested in Long Term HSPA Evolution compared to LTE?

NSN These are not mutually exclusive. We at NSN believe in both LTE and HSPA Evolution. As LTE evolved, so too must HSPA. There are currently more than 350 commercial WCDMA networks which could benefit from this technology. One of the items that is being looked at in conjunction with this HSPA Evolution is HSPA + LTE Carrier Aggregation, which would be applicable for operators with both technologies. Carrier Aggregation, which is being considered for standardization, allows for load balancing between HSPA and LTE connections. A user could have simultaneous reception of HSPA and LTE. Basically, LTE already allows for aggregating carriers together; HSPA Evolution will do the same; and this technique would do this as well.

Converge! -- What are the next steps?

NSN We need to roll up our sleeves in the standards delegations and starting working on these new items that were opened last week. Then we must bring next wave of features to 3GPP for assessment.

Monday, December 13, 2010

DragonWave Selected for Xplornet 4G Network in Canada

Barrett Xplore will deploy DragonWave's wireless backhaul technology for its new 4G network in rural Canada. Under the, multimillion-dollar contract, DragonWave will supply its Horizon Compact and Horizon Quantum products.

Barrett Xplore's investment in this new 4G terrestrial network will be approximately $150 million. Construction of the terrestrial network - capable of 40 Mbps download speeds - began in the fall. When complete, that network will deliver speeds up to 100 Mbps and will consist of 1,200 towers strategically located in rural areas. The terrestrial wireless network will be complemented by a new 4G satellite network, which will be based on new High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) architecture, starting with the first satellite - Viasat-1 - scheduled to launch in 2011, followed by a second satellite - Hughes - Jupiter - in early, 2012. These satellites will allow Barrett to provide robust speeds up to 25Mbps.

"Barrett Xplore's mission is to bridge the urban/rural broadband divide in Canada," said Barrett Xplore VP of Strategic Technology Jeff Burlock. "4G will mean that fast, robust, affordable broadband services will be available to all Canadians, regardless of location. The services and benefits of rural broadband cannot be overstated. From telecommuting, to new business growth in rural areas, to distance health and education, rural broadband can change the face of Canada."

ALU's Motive Home Device Manager Reaches 50m Milestone

Alcatel-Lucent's Motive division, which provides broadband device management solutions, has reached a milestone of 50 million devices under management with its Home Device Manager (HDM) product. This is up from 10 million devices under management just 24 months ago. In the same period, Motive has added 25 customers; HDM is now deployed by more than 85 service providers worldwide.

Motive HDM combines robust provisioning, maintenance and support capabilities into a single product. This allows service providers to configure, upgrade and manage a wide range of customer premises equipment (CPE) - including residential gateways, IPTV set-top boxes, VoIP adapters, femtocell access points and other home networking devices - using a single, device-agnostic interface.

Fujitsu FLASHWAVE and SafeNet Ethernet Encryptor Interoperate

Fujitsu and SafeNet completed interoperability testing of the FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP) and SafeNet Ethernet Encryptor 10G. The combined solution has met or exceeded the US government's criteria for performance and security.

Already on the Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL), the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP is a new class of optical transport solution, simultaneously supporting Connection-oriented Ethernet (COE), ROADM and SONET/SDH. The SafeNet Ethernet Encryptor 10G is Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) 140-2 Level 3 certified, having proven its ability to protect highly sensitive computer and telecommunications transmissions over Wide Area Networks.

Avaya Expands R&D in Ontario

Over the next three years, Avaya has committed to invest $165 million in its global R&D facilities in Ottawa and Belleville, Ontario. The facilities will develop key components of Avaya's solutions for the enterprise and small to medium business markets. The Ontario government will contribute $5 million towards the initiative, which supports 350 skilled R&D positions working on next generation Unified Communications (UC) and collaboration technologies.

IEEE to Develop New P1905.1 Home Networking Standard

The IEEE has approved the development of a new draft standard, P1905.1TM, for home networking. The aim is to create an abstraction layer for multiple home networking technologies. This would create a common data and control Service Access Point for hybrid home networks that use IEEE 1901 Broadband Over Powerline (BPL), IEEE 802.11 wireless, IEEE 802.3 Ethernet, and the Multimedia over Coax Alliance's MoCA 1.1 technologies. The new abstraction layer would support dynamic interface selection for transmission of packets arriving from any interface (upper protocol layers or underlying network technologies). End-to-end Quality of Service (QoS) is a key goal.

A new IEEE Working Group has been formed and is holding its inaugural meeting in Paris this week.

"As there is not a single networking technology that ideally addresses all of today's applications, platforms, and environments, IEEE P1905.1 represents a fundamental advancement for home networking," said Paul Houzé of France Telecom-Orange, and Chair, IEEE P1905.1 Working Group. "Creating a bridge between the world's most popular wired and wireless technologies will bring much-needed synergy, making home networks easier to use and elevating their overall performance."

IEEE P1905.1 aims to streamline network performance by dynamically managing packets from different wireless or wired interfaces, and maximizing network bandwidth to ensure reliable content delivery across all home networking technologies. The draft standard is being developed with cooperative support from a variety of key stakeholders, including chipmakers, OEMs, and service providers, ensuring broad international, cross-industry adoption. It is expected that this deep level of engagement will aid in reducing market fragmentation and shortening time-to-market product cycles.

Frontier: Extending Broadband for Rural Reach

Joy Eldad, Regional VP of Engineering for Frontier Communications, discusses broadband rollouts in the territories recently acquired from Verizon.
  • In July 2010, Frontier completed its acquisition of Verizon Communications' ( local wireline operations in 14 states. The combined operations will provide voice, High-Speed Internet, wireless Internet data access, satellite video, FiOS and other services to more than 4.0 million residential and business customers in 27 states using the Frontier Communications brand. This transaction positions Frontier as the largest pure rural telecommunications carrier in the United States.

Actelis Wins Major EFM over Copper Deployment with Cbeyond

Cbeyond, a leading provider of IT and business communications to SMBs operating in 13 U.S. markets, has selected Actelis' Ethernet in the First Mile (EFM) over copper solutions for major deployment. Actelis' EFMplus-powered products, including its ML600 Ethernet access devices and ML2300 Ethernet aggregation switches. The platform will enable Cbeyond to speeds of up to 100Mbps per customer over dry copper leased from the ILEC. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"Partnering with Actelis will help Cbeyond deliver advanced business-class services to help small business customers across the U.S. boost productivity and grow," said Brett Burgett, senior director network engineering and architecture at Cbeyond.

"Actelis is honored to be partnering with Cbeyond in our shared vision of delivering superior Ethernet solutions to the nation's small-to-medium-size businesses," said Joe Manuele, executive vice president of worldwide sales and customer service at Actelis. "Actelis' proven ability to accelerate broadband deployment and supply the best broadband rates and coverage of any EFM over copper solution gives Cbeyond a significant advantage."

Broadcom Shows 40nm Quad-Port 10G Controller

Broadcom introduced its latest generation of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) converged controllers designed for high-volume, converged local-area-network-on-motherboard (LOM) and converged network adapter applications.

The new 40 nanometer (nm) controller family represents the industry's first offering of quad-port converged controllers, delivering up to twice the port density of existing products. The smaller footprint enables extremely low power per port. Broadcom also supports the latest PCI Express (PCIe) 3.0 specification.

Broadcom Boosts Financial Guidance for Q4

Broadcom increased its financial guidance for the Q4 2010 to the top end of the prior range of approximately $1.9 billion. Product Gross Margin (GAAP) is expected to be down slightly sequentially due to warranty and excess & obsolete charges. The company held its Analysts Day on Tuesday.

"Our increased revenue guidance reflects stronger than expected demand for products in our Mobile and Wireless markets versus our initial expectations entering the quarter," said Scott McGregor, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom.

AppliedMicro Debuts 100G OTN Muxponder

AppliedMicro introduced a 100G Muxponder (multiplexing transponder) solution for Optical Transport Networks (OTN) featuring an integrated framer/mapper PHY and the company's "SoftSilicon" flexibility . The 100G Muxponder can multiplex any combination of 10G and 40G client signals into a 100G OTN signal (OTU4).

The solution unifies AppliedMicro's TPO404 OTU4 multiplexer and PQ60T 10-40G mapper/framer with a common Application Programming Interface (API) that enables efficient integration and maintenance efforts for equipment vendors. AppliedMicro's 100G Muxponder supports any combination of signals from 10G and 40G Ethernet to legacy OC192/OC768 SONET/SDH, as well as 8G and 10G Fibre Channel. It also provides interoperability with all major forward error correction (FEC) schemes in long-haul optical network architectures. The company is offering reference platforms for 100G blades and systems. Pin-outs and data sheets are now available.
  • In November, AppliedMicro introduced a family of 100 Gbps optical network processors for the Packet-Optical Transport System (P-OTS) and IP-over-DWDM transport markets. Leveraging SoftSilicon programmable technology developed by TPack, the new devices support the recently-adopted 100GE (IEEE ) and OTU4 (ITU-T) interface standards. The first two new devices in the family, TPOT414 and TPOT424, are 100G transponders for metro/core OTN and packet networks. The devices interface directly to CFP or MSA-168 type optical modules for standalone transponder applications or for line cards in larger systems. AppliedMicro said its SoftSilicon technology enables the same device to be configured to run as an 100GE-OTU4 transponder or as an OTU4-OTU4 transponder. The soft approach also enables flexibility as specs are updated.

  • Earlier this year, AppliedMicro acquired TPACK A/S, a developer of programmable chip solutions for packet transport networks, for $32 million in cash plus up to $5 million in cash earn-outs depending on performance milestones over the next eighteen months. TPACK, which is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, developed a "SOFTSILICON" solution implemented in Altera FPGA devices. The SOFTSILICON products are used in 10, 40 and 100 Gbps OTN switching and routing network equipment.

Altera Acquires Avalon for 100G OTN

Altera has acquired Avalon Microelectronics, a developer of Optical Transport Network (OTN) technology, for an undisclosed sum. Altera plans to integrated this intellectual property use in its FPGA and ASIC products supporting data rates at 1.2G, 2.5G and 10G, as well as 40G and 100G.

"As FPGAs increasingly replace ASICs and ASSPs in the heart of many systems, Altera is delivering more system-level technologies and solutions to our customers," said Don Faria, senior vice president, Communication and Broadcast Business Division, at Altera. "Avalon has been a key partner for many years and is the sole IP supplier for the 100G OTN solutions implemented in our FPGAs. With its strong system expertise in transmission applications and detailed FPGA knowledge, Avalon has established itself as a key provider to numerous top-tier communications infrastructure OEMs. We are excited to have Avalon join the Altera family.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

IEEE Forms 100G Backplane and Twinax Cabling Study Group

The IEEE 802.3 Working Group has formed a 100Gbps Ethernet Electrical Backplane and Twinax Copper Cable Assemblies Study Group. The call-for-interest was conducted by John D'Ambrosia of Force10 Networks and former chair of the recently ratified IEEE Std 802.3ba-2010.

Supporters of the initiative see a need to develop an electrical solution for 100GbE backplanes and short reach twinax cabling that operates at greater than 10Gbps per lane. The study group will have its first meeting as part of the IEEE 802.3 Working Group interim meeting.

"The Ethernet Alliance is delighted to assist in these important developments," said Jim Theodoras, president, Ethernet Alliance. "With the successful completion of industry's first 40G and 100G Ethernet interoperability testing in September and the live demonstration of the technology at SC10 in November, the Ethernet Alliance and its members continue to provide the industry with the most up-to-date information about these technologies, standards development status and interoperability testing."

Stoke Opens in Japan

Stoke, a supplier of mobile broadband gateways, has opened a strategic subsidiary office in Tokyo, Japan and has named Dr. Ikuo Nishioka as director. Nishioka served as president of Intel Japan and vice president of the sales group of Intel Corporation. Upon leaving Intel in 1999, Nishioka established Mobile Internet Capital KK (MIC) an independent venture capital firm with co-investors NTT-DOCOMO, Mizuho Securities, and Internet Research Institute. He served as president and CEO of the company until 2010. Nishioka then became President of Innovation Research Laboratory Ltd. and President of Nishioka Academy as well as Chief Technology Adviser of MIC.

Stoke has previously announced a project win with NTT Docomo.

Stoke is based in Santa Clara, California.

Dell to acquire Compellent for Virtualized Storage

Dell agreed to acquire Compellent,which specializes in highly-virtualized storage solutions with automated data management features, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $820 million, net of Compellent's cash.

Compellent's solutions will be integrated into Dell's storage portfolio, including PowerVault, EqualLogic and Dell/EMC. Dell also plans to keep Compellent's existing operations in Eden Prairie, Minn., and will invest in engineering, support, operations and sales capability to grow this business.

Dell said the acquisition of Compellent will deliver on its commitment to provide its customers solutions that are open, capable and affordable.

Google Teams with Sonic.Net on its First FTTH Network, an ISP based in Santa Rosa, California, has been selected by Google to operate and support the trial FTTH network planned for Stanford University. This experimental project will test new fiber construction and operation methods, while delivering full gigabit speeds to approximately 850 faculty and staff owned homes on campus. Construction of the Stanford fiber network will begin in early 2011. said it will manage operation of the network, provide customer service and support and perform on-site installation and repair. currently operates an open Internet access network via copper. The company plans to deploy an FTTH network in Sebastopol, California.

Telecom NZ Continues Negotiations with Crown Fibre Holdings

Telecom New Zealand confirmed that it is in negotiations again with Crown Fibre Holdings about the nation's ultra fast broadband rollout.

"We remain firmly of the belief that a structurally separate Chorus as the cornerstone of a national framework for fibre is the most efficient and effective way to deliver the government's fibre vision and that is reflected in our proposal," stated Paul Reynolds, Telecom CEO.
  • Earlier this year, Crown Fibre Holdings had selected a number of potential partners, but not Telecom.

New Zealand Kicks Off Ultra Fast Broadband Rollout

New Zealand marked the official launch of its ultra fast broadband (UFB) rollout with the first fibre laid today at Manaia View School in Whangarei. The announcement follows confirmation of a deal between Crown Fibre Holdings - the government agency set up to manage the Crown's $1.5 billion investment in UFB - and Northpower Limited. Under this arrangement, fibre will be rolled out to nearly 52,000 people in Whangarei by 2014, including more than 2,000 business premises, over 300 healthcare services, and more than 20 schools in the region.

"This the first stage in a government plan which will see fibre enabling speeds of at least 100 Mbps rolled out to 75 per cent of New Zealanders where they live, work and study," stated Steven Joyce, New Zealand's Minister for Communications and Information.

Thailand's True Tests 100 GigE with Alcatel-Lucent

True, a telecom operator based in Thailand, has conducted a field trial of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GE) traffic using Alcatel-Lucent's service routing technology. The trial leveraged Alcatel-Lucent's existing 7750 Service Routers, 7450 Ethernet Service Switches, and the 5620 Service Aware Manager, which together form the base of True's converged IP/MPLS network.

"The 100GE trial will help us prepare for the future and meet the need for increasing bandwidth. As can been seen around the world, the demand is driven by trends such as wireless carriers using Ethernet backhaul to stay ahead of the rising requirement for high-bandwidth wireless services," said Vichaow Rakphongphairoj, managing director and Group chief operating officer, Network and Technology, True Corporation PCL. February, True selected Alcatel-Lucent’s IP/MPLS solution to support a converged network transformation.

UAE Selects Alcatel-Lucent's Small Cell Technology

du, which is based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's small cells technology to help its customers overcome indoor mobile coverage issues. du operates both an FTTH fixed network and an HSDPA+ mobile network.

Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its end-to-end Femto-based 9360 Small Cell portfolio - consisting of the 9361 Home Cell, the 9362 Enterprise Cell, the 9366 Small Cell Gateway, and Small Cell Management & Customer Care systems. Alcatel-Lucent's small cells automatically come into service without requiring any manual configuration by the end-user.

Moreover, du will benefit from the power of Bell Labs' innovative self-organizing network (SON) innovation, reducing handover failures by as much as 80 percent while bringing important operational efficiency savings.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it now has more than 20 ongoing Femtocell trials and 14 commercial deployment agreements. Commercial contracts include the selection of Alcatel-Lucent by Etisalat and du in the UAE and by Vodafone Group as its preferred vendor for the deployment of a nationwide Femtocell service in the UK.

Dell'Oro: Service Provider Edge Router Market Surges to Record

The worldwide Service Provider Edge Router market attained a record level in the third quarter of 2010, expanding by more than 25 percent compared with the same prior year period, and surpassing $1.5 billion, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Cisco Systems improved their market share lead in the third quarter, while Alcatel-Lucent overtook Juniper Networks for the second position.

"The demand for edge routers in mobile backhaul networks in North America has picked up significantly this year," said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "Wireless service providers are beefing up their network capacity with IP/MPLS technologies as they race to roll out new high-speed data services and plan for the growth of mobile data traffic," added Umeda.

Mobixell Raises $10 Million for Mobile Optimization

Mobixell Networks raised $10 million in new funding led by Azini Capital and existing investors Escalate Capital, Intel Capital, and smac partners.

Mobixell Networks, which is based in San Jose, California, is a global provider of rich media, mobile internet and broadband solutions. Its flagship product, Mobixell Seamless Access, helps mobile operators to improve network efficiency and monetize data services. Seamless Access provides intelligent optimization techniques for media and video, including behavioral based optimization, caching, content aware transcoding, and network aware optimization (dynamic bit rate adaptation and automatic cell congestion detection).

"The funding strengthens Mobixell's financial stability assisting us in penetrating and realizing the growing markets of mobile Internet, mobile traffic management and mobile data optimization, as well as in furthering our commercial deployment worldwide," said Amir Aharoni, CEO and Founder of Mobixell. "Securing funding from our existing leading partners is a vote of confidence in the company's business, products, technology and its management."

ShoreTel Appoints Peter Blackmore as CEO

ShoreTel named Peter Blackmore as its new president and CEO. Don Girskis, who served as interim CEO, will resume his position as senior vice president of worldwide sales. Blackmore was most recently president, CEO and a member of the board of directors of UTStarcom. Before UTStarcom, Blackmore was executive vice president in charge of worldwide sales, marketing and technology at Unisys Corporation.

PMC-Sierra Launches 6Gb/s Unified Serial RAID Controller

PMC-Sierra introduced the first 6Gb/s Unified Serial RAID controllers aimed at high I/O transaction and high bandwidth processing applications. Based on PMC-Sierra's multi-core SRC 8x6G RAID-on-Chip (RoC) controller, the Adaptec by PMC Series 6 family is the industry's first 6Gb/s Unified Serial RAID controller channel solution with Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection which eliminates the need to replace Lithium Ion batteries used for cache maintenance.

The cards deliver support for up to 256 SATA/SAS devices using SAS expanders and an eight lane PCIe Gen 2 host interface bus connection. This enables scalability up to 600TB using 3TB SATA drives. The Series 6 delivers up to 2GB/s sustained data transfer rate to a host of applications that require high sequential bandwidth. At peak performance, this solution offers 4.8GB/s through the SAS 2.0 interfaces and 4GB/s through the PCIe Gen 2 host interface delivering enough bandwidth for high streaming applications, such as editing and broadcasting uncompressed 3D video streams. Using this solution, a 14TB array used as a virtual tape library can be filled in less than two hours compared to previous generation interfaces that take more than three hours.

"Since the acquisition of the Adaptec channel storage business in June, we have been focused on leveraging PMC-Sierra's SRC RoC technology to bring a 6Gb/s SAS controller to the channel," said Jared Peters, vice president and general manager of PMC-Sierra's Channel Storage Division. "We're launching our Series 6 solutions just as the market and ecosystem for 6Gb/s channel storage products has begun to emerge. With our industry-proven SRC RoC as the core, our feature-rich Series 6 family of storage controllers goes beyond RAID with Zero-Maintenance Cache Protection and intelligent power management for maximum reliability, lower power consumption and reduced costs."
  • Earlier this year, PMC-Sierra acquired Adaptec's channel storage business, which included its RAID storage product line, a well-established global value added reseller customer base, board logistics capabilities, and SSD cache performance solutions. The deal was valued at approximately $34 million in cash when it was first announced in May.

ADTRAN Enhances NetVanta Product Line

ADTRAN introduced two new switch platforms and a number of new security features for its NetVanta routers and switches designed for vertical markets such as health care, hospitality and retail. The new switch platforms offer 25 watt per port, 802.3at - Power over Ethernet Plus (PoE+) capability for security applications such as next-generation pan/zoom/tilt IP cameras or other PoE-enabled security endpoints.

The new suite of features includes Security audit tools, desktop audits, Denial of Service (DoS) protection, DHCP network diagnostics, and Cable/Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) diagnostics.

Video: Dell'Oro on Record Quarter for Service Provider Routing

Dell'Oro's Shin Umeda discusses the record quarter for the Service Provider Edge router market. Mobile operators are fueling some of this growth. Vendor shares are also shifting -- Cisco turned in a strong performance and Alcatel-Lucent captured the No.2 position from Juniper. Also, with 100G and next gen-platforms like the Cisco CRS-3 and Juniper T4000 on the horizon, what is the outlook for 2011.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Picochip and Wavesat Achieve LTE Interoperability

Picochip and Wavesat completed interoperability testing (IOT) between Picochip's PC960x LTE small cell base station solution and Wavesat's Odyssey 9000 family of UE chipsets. The first Wavesat Odyssey 9000 chipsets offer performance of 100 Mbps downlink and 50 Mbps uplink for user equipment such as USB dongles, data cards, mobile handsets and tablets/MIDs. These were tested with Picochip's PC9608/9 "small cell" basestation development platform developed jointly with Continuous Computing (CCPU), connecting to both network test and commercial EPC gateway products.

Bouygues Telecom and SFR Agree to Share FTTH Infrastructure

In France, Bouygues Telecom and SFR agreed to share the costs of deploying FTTH infrastructure in dense municipalities. The companies will share the passive elements of the GPON network, but will compete at the services level. The accord is expected to cover some three million homes in 20 municipalities across France.

SFR already has commercial FTTH services in several communities. Bouygues Telecom plans to launch its first FTTH in the second half of 2011.
  • SFR has previously announced a fiber line share deal with Numericable.

PAETEC to Acquire Billing Company for $13 Million

PAETEC agreed to acquire Formula Telecom Solutions in a $13 million all-cash transaction.

FTS' Leap RevChain has been PAETEC's primary billing system since its inception in 1998. Upon the closing of this transaction, the Leap RevChain billing system will be the heart of the new RevChain Solutions division of PAETEC Software. The RevChain Solutions division expects to continue investing in the development of high performance invoicing solutions for businesses, institutions and carriers. The employees of the RevChain Solutions division of PAETEC Software will continue to be based primarily out of Boca Raton, Florida.

Public Interest Groups Criticize Genachowski's Proposal

More than 80 public interest groups published an open letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski that criticizes his Internet government policy statement, which is headed to a vote later this month. Specifically, the groups argue that the proposed Order falls short in five areas:

1. Paid Prioritization: "Paid prioritization is the antithesis of openness. Any framework that does not prohibit such economic discrimination arrangements is not real Net Neutrality. Without a clear ban on such practices, ISPs will move forward with their oft-stated plans to exploit their dominant position and favor their own content and services and those of a few select paying partners through faster delivery, relegating everyone else to the proverbial dirt road."

2. Adequate Protections for Wireless: "Unfortunately, the draft Order apparently leaves wireless users vulnerable to application blocking and discrimination. The draft order reportedly would only prohibit outright blocking of websites and competing voice and video telephony applications, but would not restrict other blocking, degrading or
prioritization. This incomplete protection would destroy innovation in the mobile apps and content space, permanently enshrining Verizon and AT&T as the gatekeepers for all new uses of the wireless Web.... if bandwidth constraints are the supposed justification for disparate treatment, 4G wireless networks should receive greater Net Neutrality protections, as they should be far less capacity-constrained than some existing DSL

3. Loophole-Free Definitions: "The draft Order's definition of Broadband Internet Access Service could easily be exploited by ISPs seeking to evade or exempt themselves from the rules. The Commission should not adopt unnecessarily broad definitions that will erode the protections the rule seeks to provide. The FCC should adopt the definition of Broadband Internet Access Service suggested in the October 2009 NPRM."

4. Specialized Services Cannot Undermine the Open Internet: "While some highly sensitive and truly specialized services might not be best provided over the open Internet, there is no reason for the FCC to create a specialized services loophole that would undermine Net Neutrality. Unfortunately, the draft Order apparently opens the door to specialized services without any safeguards."

5. FCC Broadband Policy Must Be Based on Sound Legal Footing: "The FCC must restore its unquestionable authority to protect consumers, promote adoption and deployment, and serve the public interest in the broadband

The signers include Free Press, New America Foundation, Media Access Project, Reporters without Borders, Daily Kos, Common Cause, Entertainment Consumers Association, Nonprofit Technology Network,, Center for Media Justice, National Hispanic Media Coalition and Public Knowledge.http://http://www.mediaaccess.org
  • FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is moving forward with a new set of Internet traffic rules that will be brought to a commission vote on December 21. The proposal would resolve that statutory uncertainty that currently exists regarding Net Neutrality by granting the FCC new powers to enforce Internet traffic management rules. Genachowski said the framework would establish "basic rules of the road to preserve the open Internet as a platform for innovation, investment, competition, and free expression." Three of the FCC commissioners are Democrats and two are Republicans, implying that the proposal should pass if the vote splits along partisan lines.

Opnext's CEO Steps Down

Gilles Bouchard resigned his position as Opnext's CEO and President as well as from his seat on the company's Board of Directors. Harry Bosco, currently the non-executive Chairman of Board of Directors, will assume the position of CEO and President on an interim basis.

Prior to assuming the position of Chairman in April of 2009, Mr. Bosco served as the CEO and President of Opnext since the formation of the company in November of 2000. Mr. Bosco will continue in his role as Chairman.