Monday, May 31, 2010

IDC: Strong Growth in Ethernet Switch and Router Sales in Q2

In the second quarter of 2010, the enterprise Ethernet switching business grew 32.7% compared to a year earlier and the Ethernet router market expanded 11.0% year-over-year, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker. The strong performance was seen across all regions and key product segments.

From a vendor perspective, Cisco's Ethernet switch market share increased to 65.8% in 2Q10 from 62.8% in 2Q09, but was down from 68.3% in the exceptionally strong 1Q10. Cisco performed on par with the Service Provider router market and now accounts for 46.1% of Service Provider router revenue (same as in 2Q09).

"The second quarter performance was very good, following on the heels of exceptional first quarter results for the Ethernet switch market," said Rohit Mehra, director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. "As seen in previous years, the second calendar quarter builds on the performance of the first, which is what the market delivered, showing strong year-over-year growth from the slowdown the market witnessed in 2009. The continued adoption of PoE (Power over Ethernet) and gigabit ethernet is also being helped by the underlying networking drivers -- the growth of voice and video over IP applications, network-attached devices, virtualization, and cloud computing."

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker provides global Ethernet switch coverage, including manufacturer revenue and port shipments by vendor, layer, speed, form factor, power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities, and average pricing. The router coverage shows manufacturing revenue and unit shipments by vendor, product class, deployment, connectivity, and average pricing. Ethernet switch and router market results are delivered in a pivot table seven weeks after the close of the calendar quarter.

"The second quarter performance was very good, following on the heels of exceptional first quarter results for the Ethernet switch market," said Rohit Mehra, director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. "As seen in previous years, the second calendar quarter builds on the performance of the first, which is what the market delivered, showing strong year-over-year growth from the slowdown the market witnessed in 2009. The continued adoption of PoE (Power over Ethernet) and gigabit ethernet is also being helped by the underlying networking drivers -- the growth of voice and video over IP applications, network-attached devices, virtualization, and cloud computing."

IDC's update report found that the worldwide router market showed moderate strength in 2Q10. The enterprise router market was marginally lower compared to 1Q10, but had an 8.0% year-over-year gain. This segment continues to be soft and off by around 25% from the record levels seen in 2007 and 2008. Service provider router revenue now accounts for 73.9% of the router market and includes both core and edge routers.

"The continued market recovery in 2010 is very encouraging with all regions and market segments making a contribution," said Cindy Borovick, vice president, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure and Datacenter Networks. "IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker shows a strong 87.9% year-over-year increase in 10GbE switch revenue in 2Q10 and for the first time there were more than 1 million 10GbE ports shipped in the quarter. The 10Gb adoption was driven by datacenter, cloud, and campus buildouts."

From a vendor perspective, Cisco's Ethernet switch market share increased to 65.8% in 2Q10 from 62.8% in 2Q09, but was down from 68.3% in the exceptionally strong 1Q10. Cisco performed on par with the Service Provider router market and now accounts for 46.1% of Service Provider router revenue (same as in 2Q09).

IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Enterprise Networks Tracker provides global Ethernet switch coverage, including manufacturer revenue and port shipments by vendor, layer, speed, form factor, power over Ethernet (PoE) capabilities, and average pricing. The router coverage shows manufacturing revenue and unit shipments by vendor, product class, deployment, connectivity, and average pricing. Ethernet switch and router market results are delivered in a pivot table seven weeks after the close of the calendar quarter.

Vodafone Returns to Growth with Smartphones and Mobile Data

For the three months ended 30-June-2010, the Vodafone Group reported revenue increased by 4.8% to £11.3 billion and Group service revenue increased by 4.9% to £10.6 billion. On an organic basis, service revenue increased by 1.1% -- an improvement of 1.7 percentage points on the previous quarter -- as each of the regions delivered improved service revenue trends.

"These are the first quarterly results to show service revenue growth since the global recession impacted. We have achieved these results through our continuing commercial approach in key European markets, focusing especially on data, and from strong growth in emerging markets, with India now cash positive at an operating level and our highest ever quarterly revenue in Turkey. The financial outlook for the current year is confirmed," stated Vittorio Colao, CEO.

Some highlights:

  • In Europe service revenue fell by 1.7%, a 0.7 percentage point improvement on the previous quarter. Northern European businesses experienced an improvement in economic conditions, but southern European businesses continued to experience a weaker economic environment and poor consumer sentiment.

  • Both Germany and the UK delivered a third successive quarterly improvement in organic service revenue trends and returned to positive service revenue growth, with each generating faster data revenue growth rates as a result of our focus on smartphones and data plans and, in Germany, on netbooks.

  • Spain delivered a small improvement in organic service revenue trends, despite an increasingly competitive market.

  • In Italy, significant price competition led to organic service revenue declined.

  • Enterprise revenue returned to growth in Europe, increasing by 0.2% with improved roaming activity and customer wins by Vodafone Global Enterprise.

  • In Asia Pacific and Middle East, service revenue increased by 10.5%, a 5.5 percentage point improvement on the previous quarter. The improvement was driven by continued strong customer growth and better usage trends in India where there have been no recent significant price reductions by market leaders.

  • Capital expenditure was £1,041 million reflecting continued European network investment, enhancement of the network in Turkey and continued network rollout in India, albeit at a slower rate than in the first quarter last year. In addition, the Group invested £3.0 billion in spectrum licences in India and Germany.

  • Free cash flow was £1,767 million and was broadly stable year on year after adjusting for foreign exchange.

T-Mobile's HSPA+ Network Operational in 50 Markets

T-Mobile USA announced that its HSPA+ network is now operational in 50 markets across the country and that the company is on track to deliver HSPA+ speeds in 100 major metropolitan areas with backhaul in place, covering 185 million people in the U.S. by the end of this year.

In addition, 16 of T-Mobile's current 3G devices, including more than a dozen smartphones, can benefit from the HSPA+ network, including the newest smartphone available from T-Mobile--the Samsung Vibrant. And later this summer, T-Mobile will unveil its first HSPA+-capable smartphone.

Video: Network Monitoring for 4G

VSS Monitoring Targets 4G/LTE Monitoring

VSS Monitoring unveiled a new framework for monitoring traffic and services across 4G/LTE networks.

Service providers have traditionally employed a flat architecture of probes and testers for monitoring their 2G and 3G network traffic locally. To handle more complex 4G networks, VSS Monitoring is developing a hierarchical framework capable of providing a network-wide view of traffic in real-time as well as packet-level visibility at any network node. The company said its "Network Monitoring 2.0" adopts a systems approach with no single point of failure. The system promises low-latency and scales to a worldwide distributed network.

Essentially, by decoupling the monitoring infrastructure from the core network, the traffic capture system can act as a universal access layer for all monitoring tools. The traffic capture layer is possible because the network taps are distributed and intelligent.

"Mobile operators clearly need a solution optimized for 4G monitoring," said Andy Huckridge, VSS Director of Marketing.

VSS Monitoring's Optimizer 2016 is an intelligent traffic capture device for networks from 10 Mbps to 10 GigE. It provides session-aware load balancing, a technology that maintains network session integrity to the monitoring infrastructure, allowing users to deploy multiple one Gigabit analytical tools to monitor a 10 GigE line, ensuring full coverage and maximizing monitor ROI. Hardware-based filtering allows users to filter traffic at line rate by address and protocols; users can also create custom filters. It supports VSS' intelligent stacking technology, "vStack+", which enables traffic capture devices to be deployed in a redundant, low-latency mesh for total, dynamic, fault-tolerant visibility that scales to even the largest networks.

Clearwire Expands 4G in 3 More Markets: Wash DC, Baltimore, Kansas City

Clearwire Communications launched its 4G service in parts of the Washington metro market with expanded coverage to surrounding areas expected in the months ahead. Within this central D.C. area, CLEAR covers nearly 1 million people in communities as far north as Chevy Chase and Silver Spring MD, south to Alexandria VA, west to Falls Church, VA, and east to College Park MD.

Clearwire announced the launch of service in Kansas City, Kansas, and the expansion of its 4G network in Baltimore. CLEAR now covers 725 square miles and approximately 1.7 million people in the Baltimore metro area. Regionally, service extends as far north as Bel Air, as far south as Annapolis and southwest as Columbia, west to Owings Mills, and east to Dundalk and Essex. In Kansas City, CLEAR covers 670 square miles and more than 1.1 million people in areas extending as far north as the Kansas City International Airport, south to Belton, west to the Kansas Speedway, and east to Blue Springs.

Qualcomm Debuts Dual-CPU Snapdragon Chip

Qualcomm has begun sampling its first dual-CPU Snapdragon chipsets designed for smartphones, tablets and smartbook devices. This represents Qualcomm's third generation in the Snapdragon series.

The MSM8260 for HSPA+ and MSM8660 for multi-mode HSPA+/CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Rev. B feature two enhanced CPU cores running at up to 1.2GHz for high levels of Web application and multimedia performance, including a powerful GPU with 3D/2D acceleration engines for Open GLES 2.0 and Open VG 1.1 acceleration, 1080p video encode/decode, dedicated low power audio engine, integrated low power GPS, and support for 24-bit WXGA 1280 x 800 resolution displays.

"Qualcomm's first-generation Snapdragon chipsets set a new standard for advanced smartphones and smartbook devices, and our second-generation solutions are already shipping in volume," said Steve Mollenkopf, executive vice president of Qualcomm and president of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies.

Windstream Completes acquisition of Iowa Telecom

Windstream completed its acquisition of Iowa Telecommunications Services, Inc. in a transaction valued at approximately $1.2 billion.

As of March 31, 2010, Iowa Telecom provided service to approximately 249,000 access lines, 96,000 high-speed Internet customers and 27,500 digital TV customers in Iowa and Minnesota.

Windstream said the deal will provide it with increased scale and annual synergies of approximately $35 million in operating expenses and capital expenditure savings. The transaction also includes tax assets with an estimated net present value of approximately $130 million.

Iowa Telecom Chairman and CEO Alan Wells was appointed to the Windstream board of directors effective with the closing of the transaction.

Internet Initiative Japan Acquires AT&T's Local Outsourcing Business

Internet Initiative Japan (IIJ) has agreed to acquire AT&T's local network outsourcing service in Japan. Through this acquisition, IIJ will be providing WAN services to approximately 1,600 domestic corporate customers. IIJ's own client bases has over 6,500 corporate customers. Additionally, IIJ will also provide international services through business tie-up with AT&T Japan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Broadcom Announces 3x3 MIMO 802.11n

Broadcom introduced a single-chip 802.11n dual-band 3x3 wireless solution aimed at multimedia content distribution in their homes.

The company said its BCM4331 Wi-Fi chip, which uses three transmitting and three receiving streams of data in either the 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz frequency bands, achieves 450 Mbps data rates in client devices and over 600Mbps throughput (TCP/IP) in 3x3 AP/router configurations.

The BCM4331 is now sampling and will be demonstrated at this week's 30th annual COMPUTEX in Taipei, Taiwan.

European Commission: Telecom Markets More Competitive

EU telecoms markets have become more competitive, however a single EU telecoms market is still far from reality, according to a new report from the European Commission.

The Commission's recently launched Digital Agenda for Europe calls for swift and consistent enforcement of existing telecoms rules and indicates that the Commission intends to propose appropriate steps to reduce the cost of the absence of a Single Market in telecoms services.

Problems include different national regulatory approaches to tackling competition issues, such as regulating access to fibre networks. The new report also warns that regulatory uncertainty could hamper the roll out of investment-intensive infrastructure projects like Next Generation Access (NGA) networks, one of the flagships of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said: "Commission guidance to national telecoms regulators has guaranteed a level of consistency and predictability that gives investors confidence. However, we need more coordinated regulation to ensure harmonised implementation and proper functioning of a single EU telecoms market."

The Commission report claims that, on the whole, its efforts have led to less and better regulation across EU telecoms markets. However national telecoms regulators continue to apply diverging solutions to cases where there are similar competition problems. These include:

  • Treatment of fibre access products in the wholesale broadband markets - e.g. in a number of cases, although fibre was included in market definitions, telecoms regulators proposed not to impose regulatory remedies or to limit these to fibre networks.

  • Applying different calculations for the charges at which operators offer part of their networks (access) or convey calls for other operators (interconnection). A number of regulators still include non-related cost elements in the calculation of termination charges, such as spectrum costs, which leads to inflated charges.

  • Different regulatory approaches in cases where telecom operators separate the provision of services to other telecoms operators from those provided to end-users (functional separation).

As of May 2011, revised EU telecoms rules will give the Commission additional responsibilities for the imposition and implementation of remedies by national regulators. The Commission is committed to ensure the consistent application of the EU telecoms rules in close cooperation with the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), and to promote further high speed broadband rollout as foreseen in the Digital Agenda for Europe.

The Commission is currently finalizing a Recommendation on regulated access to Next Generation Access (NGA) networks, which builds on the guidance it provided as part of national broadband market reviews. The Commission, with BEREC, is also considering further instructions to telecoms regulators on the consistent implementation of separation commitments and remedies.

HP Targets New Era in Enterprise Services

Following on from its acquisition of EDS, HP
announced a restructuring to align itself with the "New Era in Enterprise Services." Plans call for investing in fully automated, standardized, state-of-the-art commercial data centers built on its Converged Infrastructure and operated by its industry-leading management software. HP will consolidate dozens of data centers into perhaps half a dozen super centers. The company will also eliminate up to 9,000 positions over several years as it pursues cloud-based services.

HP said its plan is to consolidate Enterprise Services' commercial data centers, management platforms, networks, tools and applications to create a more scalable, modernized and automated IT infrastructure that will better serve its clients' needs.

"Over the past 20 months, we focused on integrating EDS and improving profitability," said Tom Iannotti, senior vice president and general manager, HP Enterprise Services. "Now that the integration is largely complete, we have identified significant opportunities to grow and scale the business. These next-generation services will enable our clients to benefit from the combined technology and services leadership that only HP offers."

Whitepaper: Network Monitoring 2.0

Whitepaper: Network Monitoring 2.0

The journey toward a converged all-IP
network comes with a whole new set of performance and management
philosophies toward which IT organizations must adopt and evolve.
Real-time monitoring, troubleshooting and provisioning of the network
must be implemented strategically and methodically, as they are driven
by the need to maintain and manage the experience of the end user. In
particular, real time monitoring of network traffic is proven to be
essential in diagnosing and analyzing the performance of the network and
the services, and consequently the quality of experience (QoE) of the

It is the purpose of this paper to address the complexity challenges
associated with the existing network monitoring approach, which can be
termed broadly as "Network Monitoring 1.0" environment. As the network
has evolved from 2G to 3G and now 4G, the network monitoring also has to
evolve to a "Network Monitoring 2.0" model -- in which a single,
distributed capture layer creates a simplified and elegant architecture
that many large network operators have begun to adopt today.

the full whitepaper here:

Alcatel-Lucent Supplies CDMA/EV-DO Rev. B to China Telecom

Alcatel-Lucent has been selected as the sole equipment provider for China Telecom's CDMA/EV-DO Rev. B network at the Expo 2010 in Shanghai.

Alcatel-Lucent's solution, which has been installed in the United States Pavilion, enables China Telecom to boost its mobile broadband network speeds by up to three times.

The installation follows an earlier trial of the multi-carrier Rev. B technology with China Telecom in three districts of Shanghai.

The Alcatel-Lucent EV-DO Rev. B solution is a software upgrade that builds on operators' existing CDMA base stations and enables a two- to three-fold improvement in the forward link peak data rates (6.2 Mbps for 2.5MHz and 9.3 Mbps for 3.75 MHz); peak data rates for the reverse link are improved proportionally (3.6 Mbps for 2.5 MHz and 5.4 Mbps for 3.75 MHz).

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks Appoints Dr. Moiin as CTO

Nokia Siemens Networks has appointed Dr. Hossein Moiin as its chief technology officer.

Moiin is currently responsible for mobile technology and architecture at BT. Prior to working for BT, Moiin held positions with T-Mobile including group vice president for Technical Strategy and chief architect. Moiin was also chief technologist for the Network Service Provider Group at Sun Microsystems where he spent several years in a variety of management and development roles.

Moiin has a Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from the University of California and holds both Iranian and Italian citizenship. He is moving to Finland to be based out of the company's headquarters in Espoo.

The new role of CTO was created by Nokia Siemens Networks following the reorganization it announced in November 2009 and the elimination of the role of chief operating officer from January 2010. The CTO will be responsible for developing and advocating the company's technology strategy and long-term views on network architecture.

ZTE Completes TD-LTE S1/X2 Interface Conformity Test

ZTE and China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MII) completed the first S1/X2 Interface Conformity test for TD-LTE.

Within LTE network infrastructure, the S1 interface is the communications interface between LTE eNB (base station) and EPC (packet core network), while the X2 interfaces between eNB and eNB. ZTE said the success of the S1/X2 Interface Conformity test validates that its TD-LTE system, including its wireless and core network, fully comply with 3rd Generation Partnership Project(3GPP)standards.

Telehouse Opens Flagship Facility in London's Docklands

Telehouse inaugurated its flagship Telehouse West data centre in London's Docklands. The opening event was hosted by BBC breakfast's Bill Turnbull, with speeches from: Mr Mitsui, Managing Director, Telehouse Europe; Mr Ishikawa, Vice President, KDDI; Mr. Hiroshi Oka, Minister of the Embassy of Japan in the United Kingdom; and Mike Harris, co-founder, Egg plc.

Telehouse was delighted to welcome key customers, including Ioka, Daiwa Capital Markets, Hitachi, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Verizon and T-Systems.

Spread over nine floors, five with a "localised data centre environment", the custom-built 19,000m² state-of-the-art facility brings the total power at the company's London Docklands site to 40MVA.

Telehouse's global data centre footprint has now reached 119,000m². The facility will meet the demands of UK businesses for high-capacity data centres, as well as offering connectivity to over 400 ISPs, carriers, operators and Internet Exchanges.

Juniper Research: Mobile VoIP users to exceed 100 million by 2012

Mobile VoIP services will develop significantly faster in developed markets due to the direct correlation between 3G roll outs and the take up of mobile VoIP, according to a new report from Juniper Research. The consultancy predicts that revenues from the circuit switched voice market will continue to diminish over the next five years, although this will not accelerate. Juniper Research advises that alliances between mobile VoIP players and traditional operators may provide the best option for today's incumbent operators to address the advent of mobile VoIP.

SMC Networks Appoints Todd Babic as President

SMC Networks has promoted Todd Babic to the position of President of SMC Networks, effective immediately. Babic has served SMC since 2002, and spent the last two years as Vice President of Sales, Broadband Business Development for North America.

In his new role, Babic will be responsible for aligning SMC's resources, internally and externally, to achieve the company's strategic vision and will have day-to-day responsibility for directing and managing sales, engineering, and product management.

SMC Networks now focuses on supplying Customer Premise Equipment to Service Providers.
  • Last year, SMC Networks spun off its business networking division (Edgecore Networks).

China's Nebulae Ranks as No. 2 Supercomputer

China's Nebulae, a new supercomputer based on a Dawning TC3600 Blade system with Intel X5650 processors and NVidia Tesla C2050 GPUs, has achieved 1.271 PFlop/s running the Linpack benchmark, which puts it in the No. 2 spot
on the TOP500 list of supercomputers worldwide. The leading spot is retained by Jaguar, which is located at the U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility and which retains a record 1.75 petaflop/s performance running the Linpack benchmark. Jaguar has a theoretical peak capability of 2.3 petaflop/s
and nearly a quarter of a million cores. One petaflop/s refers to one quadrillion calculations per

Nebulae, which is located at China's newly build National Supercomputing Centre in Shenzhen, leverages NVidia GPU accelerators to achieve an even higher theoretical peak capability of almost 3 petaflop/s -- the highest ever on the TOP500.

The third place on the list is Los Alamos' Roadrunner, which was the first to break the petaflop/s barrier in June 2008.

The TOP500 list is compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Friday, May 28, 2010

CyberSecurity Survey

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Union Ratifies Contract for AT&T Mobility Southeast

AT&T Mobility announced that wireless employees in its Southeast Region (CWA District 3) have voted to ratify a four-year agreement with the Communications Workers of America.

The agreement covers about 11,200 CWA members in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Intel's 22nm "Knights Corner" CPU to Scale to 50 Cores

Intel unveiled plans for new supercomputing silicon based on a Many Integrated Core (MIC) architecture that will create platforms running at trillions of calculations per second while retaining the benefits of standard Intel processors.

The first product, codenamed "Knights Corner," will be made on Intel's 22-nanometer manufacturing (nm) process and will use Moore's Law to scale to more than 50 Intel processing cores on a single chip. The CPU is aimed at highly parallel applications.

"Intel's Xeon processors, and now our new Intel® Many Integrated Core architecture products, will further push the boundaries of science and discovery as Intel accelerates solutions to some of humanity's most challenging problems," said Kirk Skaugen, vice president and general manager of Intel's Data Center Group. "The Intel® MIC architecture will extend Intel's leading HPC products and solutions that are already in nearly 82 percent of the world's top supercomputers. Today's investments are indicative of Intel's growing commitment to the global HPC community."

GENBAND Completes Acquisition of Nortel's Carrier VoIP Division

GENBAND completed its acquisition of substantially all assets of the Nortel Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions Business (CVAS). The deal combines GENBAND's next-generation media, session and security gateway technologies and Nortel's softswitch, media gateway and application technologies. The combined company will have products deployed with over two-thirds of the world's top 100 service providers and will cover broad markets including fixed, mobile, cable and broadband operators.

GENBAND will remain headquartered in the Dallas area, with strategic product and support facilities in Ottawa, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Maidenhead, Shanghai and Beijing, as well as strategic partners in India and Turkey.

"We are pleased to further our vision of fueling next generation network migration and IMS deployment through our successful acquisition of Nortel CVAS technology and talent," said Charles D. Vogt, president and chief executive officer of GENBAND. "By creating one of the most comprehensive, standards-based, interoperable switching portfolios in the world, we will facilitate the industry's massive and ongoing efforts to modernize networks, maximize existing investments and converge fixed and mobile infrastructures across disparate networks."

Skype's iPhone App Runs over 3G

Skype released a new version of its iPhone application that enable calling using the 3G connection. Skype-to-Skype calls are free until the end of 2010, after which the company plans to introduced a monthly fee. Pricing details have not been disclosed. Operator data charges still apply.

Skype said is able to achieve near CD-quality sound for Skype-to-Skype calls over 3G using the iPhone because it leverages a wideband audio (SILK) codec. This is also on the iPad as well as 2nd and 3rd generation iTouches. The new app also promises faster start-up times.

"Using Skype on 3G has been the number one request among our iPhone customers. This new version is a great step towards enabling our customers to take and use Skype everywhere they go", said Russ Shaw General Manager for Mobile, Skype. "Using Skype on iPhone without being restricted to the availability of a WiFi network will open up new ways for Skype customers to stay connected and make free or low-cost calls whenever they want, wherever they are in the world."

NSN and Partners Test Smart Grid in Helsinki

Helsingin Energia - a public utility of the City of Helsinki, ABB - and Nokia Siemens Networks will jointly develop, test and install a smart grid in the new Kalasatama district of Helsinki. The project will create sustainable, high efficiency electric power distribution and services based on modern communication, information and energy technologies. The consortium partners envision a smart grid based on industry-wide standards supporting a stable, secure, efficient and environmentally sustainable power system. It will also accommodate customer demand response management systems that allow local producers and consumers to interact with the network operator and the energy market to reduce peak loads and increase efficiency.

The project aims to enable excess power generated from renewable energy sources in the district - including sources such as solar panels or wind turbines - can be fed into the market; to enable electric vehicles to draw electricity from the grid or feed it back in; to store energy; to create easy-to-use services and to provide more flexibility and transparency in the distribution grid, all helping to lower electricity consumption and emissions.

Avaya to Sell Stake in AGC Networks to Essar

Avaya has agree to sell its approximate 59% ownership interest in AGC Networks Ltd. (formerly Avaya GlobalConnect) to affiliates of the Essar Group for approximately US$44.5 million.

AGC Networks, established in 1986, is a converged communication solutions provider focused on the India and Australia markets. The Essar Group is a multinational conglomerate spanning steel, oil & gas, power, communications, shipping ports & logistics, construction and minerals. Its communications group is focused on the customer care and acquisition market and has a track record of introducing process and technology innovation.

The sale of its AGC Networks stake will enable Avaya to drive additional focus on two of its strategic imperatives: the development of the Avaya business in India and the growth and extension of its channel coverage model through Avaya's global channel program, Avaya Connect. AGC Networks remains a key channel partner of Avaya serving customers in the India market, one of the fastest growing enterprise communications markets in the world, and in Australia.

TD-LTE Call Completed from Shanghai to Taipei

A high resolution live video call has been completed between TD-LTE devices connected to separate TD.-LTE networks. The call occurred between China Mobile's pre-commercial TD-LTE network for the Shanghai World Expo and National Chiao Tung University's (NCTU) TD-LTE trial network in Taipei, set up by Nokia Siemens Networks.
The company provided all the necessary TD-LTE equipment including core network and multiple base stations, along with the corresponding services. Nokia Siemens Networks is also providing TD-LTE indoor coverage for the Finland Pavilion during the World Expo in Shanghai.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Verizon Wireless Sees LTE Changing Usage and Pricing Patterns

Pricing structure is one of the ways that LTE will change the mobile broadband game, said Lowell McAdam, Verizon Communications - EVP, President and CEO Verizon Wireless, speaking at the Barclay Capital conference this week.

The 700 MHz C-Block spectrum will prove to a strategic advantage for the company, said McAdam, especially since it will not have to piece together different bands for different markets across the country. Verizon Wireless has LTE trials running in Boston, Seattle and Erie, Pennsylvania, where some rural applications are being tested.

The LTE trials have proven what physics predicted -- the 700 MHz spectrum is delivering excellent in-building penetration, which will also be good for machine-to-machine applications. Verizon Wireless estimates that it will get up to 3.5X the penetrating power of its competitors.

As for the expected average downlinks of the upcoming service, Verizon Wireless has been discussing figures of about 7 Mbps. McAdam said this number is conservative -- especially in light of theoretical numbers of 120 Mbps or more -- and that the field trials so far indicate that downlink performance will exceed the 7 Mbps range. The field trials are also indicating a 30 millisecond delay on the network, which would make video gaming a possibility. McAdam said he expects to see a variety of LTE devices at CES 2011 -- not just LTE cards and dongles.

Looking ahead, McAdam said he expects that most consumers will ultimately have a number of devices that need connectivity -- four, five, six or perhaps as many as 20 devices. Consumers will want to buy "a bucket of megabytes" to be used any way they want by any of the devices. Voice becomes irrelevant because Verizon Wireless expects that by 2012 the voice that it sells on LTE will all be VoIP. So the game will not be about unlimited megabytes on a smartphone, but about tiers of service for all these devices.

ACCESS and OKI ACCESS Offer VoIP Solution for Smartphones

ACCESS CO. and OKI ACCESS Technologies Co. introduced an IMS-based VoIP solution for mobile operators, ISPs and Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs). The NetFront IP-Phone system provides both 3G and WiFi air interfaces, and it supports all three major smartphone operating systems: iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile.

The solution, which will be available from ACCESS worldwide as of June 2010, uses a "NetFront IMS Client" to enable the smartphone to communicate with a variety of IP telephony servers in the carrier's network. The NetFront IP-Phone interface is compliant with 3GPP, OMA(Open Mobile Alliance) and IETF standards. NetFront IP-Phone is not bundled with specific services, so ISPs and MVNOs can customize it to offer differentiated IP telephony services.

The IMS framework also features the companies' "eSound" VoIP technology, which enables realistic voice tones that are superior to conventional phone quality.

"Since the foundation of our company, OKI ACCESS Technologies has focused on developing advanced IMS solutions that create value-added services by integrating OKI's industry-leading information technologies and ACCESS' mobile software technologies. We are confident that NetFront IP-Phone will contribute to the growth of mobile VoIP markets," said Osamu Nakazawa, president of OKI ACCESS Technologies.
  • OKI ACCESS was established in November 2005 as a joint venture between Oki Electric Industry Co. and ACCESS CO., to develop voice and video media products for Next Generation mobile devices.

Juniper's SSL VPN Gains Military Certification

Juniper Networks' SA Series SSL VPN (Secured Sockets Layer Virtual Private Network) appliances have been tested and certified by the U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) for interoperability with Defense Department Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) requirements.

JITC interoperability testing and certification are required by the U.S. Department of Defense for all IT equipment that attaches to U.S. defense networks.

"Removing passwords--and their transmission across the Internet, as well as the organizational or cloud-based files where they are stored and managed--eliminates a huge vulnerability for managers of critical, sensitive networks," said Bob Fortna, vice president, Defense, Juniper Networks. "The use of a certified SSL VPN solution in a CAC-enabled PKI environment promotes highly secure network access, continuity of operations during emergencies, and offers significant reductions in inappropriate network use and intrusions."

Infonetics: Telco CAPEX to Bottom-Out this Year

Despite the economic crisis, telecom service providers reduced their capital expenditures by only 5.9% worldwide in 2009, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. Two reasons are cited for the relatively modest decline: "service providers are operating with clean balance sheets, having learned that lesson from the great telecom crash, and the demand for broadband today is very real indeed." Infonetics expects that telco CAPEX will bottom-out this year before returning to an upgrade cycle in 2011.

Some other highlights of the report:

  • Worldwide, service providers spent US$295 billion in 2009 on telecom and non-telecom capital expenditure projects, 5.9% less than they spent in 2008

  • Carriers reduced investment in network infrastructure by 8% in 2009, with the deepest cuts in IP voice infrastructure, optical network equipment, video infrastructure, and IP routers

  • Mobile infrastructure spending continues to make up the largest portion of all network infrastructure investments made by service providers, making up about 19%

  • Worldwide, service providers took in US$1.65 trillion in revenue in 2009, a decrease of 4.2% from 2008

  • Carrier revenue is expected to resume growth in 2010

  • The world's 10 largest service providers (ranked in order by 2009 revenue in US dollars) are AT&T, NTT, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, China Mobile, France Télécom, Vodafone, Telefónica, KDDI, and Comcast.

Infonetics' capex report tracks revenue, capex, capex-to-revenue ratios, opex, ARPU, subscribers, and access lines of 184 public and semi-private/government-owned service providers on a monthly and biannual basis. The report includes past, current, and forecast capex and revenue data through 2014 and equipment forecasts through 2010, market drivers, analysis, service provider demographics, and customizable pivot tables to analyze data by service provider, service provider type, and equipment category.

DISH First to Offer Local Broadcast Channels in All 210 Local Markets

Next week, DISH Network plans to launch local channels in 29 new markets across the U.S., becoming the first and only pay-TV provider to offer local channels to consumers in every market nationwide.

The announcement coincides with the signing of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA) by President Obama, which paved the way for DISH Network to take this historic step.

Fujitsu Develops Super Hi-Vision Encoder for NHK

Fujitsu has developed codec equipment for systems transmitting Super Hi-Vision (SHV) video, with resolution 16 times higher than Japan's current Full Hi-Vision video. SHV offers a resolution of 7,680 x 4,320 pixels. This compares to 1,920 x 1,080 pixels for 1080p HD.

The new codec equipment was delivered as a prototype to NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories. The codec equipment utilizes the H.264 encoding format and can efficiently compress SHV video at a rate of 60-frames per second (fps), a world's first, for transmission via broadcasting networks or IP connections.

Compared to existing equipment, Fujitsu said its new device achieves double the compression efficiency, and due to more efficient inter-frame predictive processing, also results in higher video quality for the whole system. The improved compression efficiency allows the video to be transmitted using lower bandwidth, thereby reducing the line costs and making a significant contribution towards the practical implementation of SHV video transmissions.

Huawei Supplies Video Interworking Gateway for Beijing Unicom

Beijing Unicom, a subsidiary of China Unicom, has deployed an integrated solution from Huawei for providing multi-media video communications between mobile callers and traditional fixed-line customers using a VIG (video interworking gateway). The solution uses Huawei' s mobile softswitch and allows multi-media video interworking between fixed and 3G mobile networks.

Huawei said its integrated VIG solution simplifies operation and maintenance for China Unicom, as opposed to a separate video gateway solution, and it can also provide IMS and IM-MGW (IP multimedia media gateway) capabilities, which will allow China Unicom to implement complete fixed-mobile convergence.

Eutelsat Focuses Four Satellites on 2010 FIFA World Cup

Eutelsat Communications has four satellites ready for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Eutelsat's W2A, W3A, W4 and W7 satellites will provide high-power capacity over Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) will reinforce its existing permanent capacity on Eutelsat satellites with two extra 72 MHz transponders booked on the W2A satellite. This satellite will enable the games, summary reports and highlights of the championship to be broadcast live from the EBU's international broadcast centre, located for the event in Soweto, to its headquarters in Geneva. Images will then be delivered by the EBU to its 75 broadcast members and other clients in extended Europe, using W2A for Europe and W3A for Africa and the Middle East.

Eutelsat also said that in addition to carrying live broadcasts of matches by rights holders, it will provide customers operating in South Africa with satellite links so that journalists working in the field can be directly connected to studios in their respective countries. Clients including GlobeCast, APTN, Arqiva, Telenor and TVI, who all already lease permanent capacity on Eutelsat, will reinforce their resources on W2A, W7 and W3A for these transmissions.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

PMC-Sierra Releases Pluggable GPON ONT Design

PMC-Sierra introduced a pluggable GPON Optical Network Terminal (ONT) reference design that can connect any Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) equipped with a standard Small Form-Factor Pluggable (SFP) port to a high-speed Passive Optical Network.

The low-power, plug-and-play ONT allows carriers and system vendors to upgrade existing service-oriented home and small/medium business equipment, including gateways, routers, and integrated access devices, to full GPON functionality without hardware or software redesign.

PMC-Sierra's pluggable ONT, which is based on its GPON SoC for mini-ONT applications, is powered by standard interfaces in the host device and does not require a dedicated power supply. It integrates an optical transceiver, an innovative host interface, and a complete OMCI stack that is interoperable with all major OLT systems on the market. It can be connected to any SFP receptacle and does not require any software or hardware modifications to the host system.

Vietnam's VTN Deploys ADVA for Managed Wavelength Services

Vietnam's largest telecommunications carrier, Vietnam Telecoms National (VTN), has deployed ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 to provide managed Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) connectivity services to enterprises across the country. The VTN network traverses the entire length and width of Vietnam, boasting a network of 1,000 customers across more than 3,000 kilometers. Major financial institutions in Vietnam are using the managed WDM service.

Infonetics: Cisco's Q1 Boost in IP Core and Edge Router

Cisco's service provider IP core and edge router revenue rose by 6% in the first quarter of 2010 compared to the previous quarter, and up 33% compared to the first quarter of 2009, according to a new report from Infonetics Research. Meanwhile, other vendors reported declines in Q1 due to supply constraints.

Some highlights:

  • Combined worldwide revenue from service provider IP edge routers, IP core routers, carrier Ethernet switches, and multiservice ATM switches declined 5% in the first quarter of 2010 from the previous quarter, to $2.95 billion, in what is typically a down quarter for this market

  • Year-over-year (1Q09 vs. 1Q10), the overall market is up 14%

  • The North American carrier router and switch market actually gained a bit in 1Q10, with manufacturer revenue up 1.5%, on the heels of an 18% gain in 4Q09

  • Compared to this time last year, the service provider switch and router market in North America is up 29%

  • Carrier Ethernet switch revenue was up 8% in 1Q10 from 4Q09, and is up 22% year-over-year (from 1Q09)

The report provides worldwide and regional market share, market size, forecasts through 2014, and analysis for IP core routers, IP edge routers, carrier Ethernet switches (CES), and multiservice ATM switches. The report also tracks IP edge routers and CES by application (multiservice edge, BRAS, Ethernet access transport, and Ethernet services edge), as well as port count and port revenue detail for Ethernet ports (10M/100M, 1G, 10G, 40G, 100G), ATM/frame relay/PPP ports, POS/ATM/WDM ports, and other ports (FDDI, serial, analog, etc.).

TeliaSonera Carries 127 Gbps Single Wavelength over 1,700km

TeliaSonera, in partnership with Opnext, demonstrated a single wavelength, real-time coherent 127G PM-QPSK (Polarization Multiplexed Quadrature Phase Shift Keying) modem running over a 1,700km span.

The trial conducted over a long haul link with 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps mixed traffic ran from Uppsala, Sweden to Olofström, Sweden and back for a total distance of 1700km and represents the longest un-regenerated real-time test to date. The TeliaSonera trial represents the first real-time, single wavelength 100G field trial in Europe.

Opnext noted that the transmission channel did not require optimization to implement the 100 Gbps technology, which further demonstrates the ease-of-use of coherent technology.

Currently, 10 Gbps and most 40 Gbps optical systems using direct detection require optimization and intervention by an optical network engineer to balance all of the optical impairments on an installed optical fiber. Opnext plug and play technology allows carriers to upgrade their existing line systems to 100 Gbps without requiring any change to their existing networks. In addition, new systems using Opnext technology can eliminate the need for external dispersion compensation, which reduces cost, minimizes IP latency and allows for deployment over older installed fiber.

"TeliaSonera has one of the largest and fastest growing IP backbones in Europe, and this trial demonstrates our focus on maintaining a state of the art network that is ready to use next-generation technologies, such as coherent 100 Gbps, from vendors like Opnext," said Staffan Göjeryd, Head of Broadband Development, TeliaSonera.

ClariPhy Raises $24 Million for its 10/40/100G ICs

ClariPhy Communications, a start-up based in Irvine, California with engineering in Argentina, has raised $24 million in series C funding for its high speed communications ICs.

ClariPhy's portfolio includes mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) for 10, 40 and 100 Gbps optical networking and communication applications. ClariPhy plans to use the funding to deliver a new class of single chip MXSP ICs that significantly increase an optical network's reach and tolerance to impairments (such as chromatic dispersion, polarization mode dispersion and fiber nonlinearity).

The company's line of 10G, 40G and 100G networking chips are based on advanced MXSP schemes such as Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation (MLSE) and Coherent Detection that approach the limits of achievable performance. ClariPhy's implementation of these schemes in 40 nm single-chip CMOS enables equipment designers to reduce cost and power by integrating multiple system functions into customized System on Chip (SoC) solutions.

The funding round includes new strategic investors -- Oclaro, a tier-one provider of optical communications and laser components, and multiple telecom OEMs. All ClariPhy's existing venture investors participated in this round, including Norwest Venture Partners, Allegis Capital, Onset Ventures and Pacific General Ventures.

Level 3 Teams with GlobeNet

Level 3 Communications has formed a partnership with GlobeNet, an international provider of submarine cable transmission capacity, to offer transport and high-speed Internet services between North and South America.

Through the relationship, Level 3 will be able to offer its high-speed Internet protocol (HSIP) services packaged with GlobeNet's sub-sea cable capacity on routes between South America and North America. GlobeNet will be able to offer its sub-sea cable capacity packaged with Level 3's HSIP services.

"With the increasing desire for high-quality global communications, it is crucial for network enablers to leverage infrastructure that is scalable, efficient, and capable of operating across the Americas," said Erick Contag, chief operating officer for GlobeNet. "We are pleased that our relationship with Level 3 will extend our international capabilities and increase our customers' access to premium data and IP services."
  • In March 2010, GlobeNet, a wholly owned subsidiary of Oi (formerly Brasil Telecom), completed the upgrade of the 22,000 kilometer submarine cable system linking the United States with Latin America. In addition to the submarine sections, Alcatel-Lucent upgraded the landing points in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza (Brazil), Maiquet�a (Venezuela), St.David's (Bermuda), Boca Raton and Tuckerton, Fla. In Rio de Janeiro, the submarine network integrates with the terrestrial optical infrastructure of GlobeNet's parent company, Oi. Alcatel-Lucent also managed the installation, deployment and commissioning of the system.

    This project, the second upgrade in approximately 18 months, enables GlobeNet to deliver more than 110 Gbps of capacity, enabling GlobeNet to expand its wholesale service offering to include broadband, carrier Ethernet, fixed and mobile IP-based and traditional voice services as well as applications such as hosting, video conferencing and international private line services.

NetApp Posts Revenue of $1.17 Billion

NetApp reported quarterly revenue of $1.17 billion compared to revenues of $880 million for the same period one year ago. GAAP net income was $145 million, or $.40 per share compared to GAAP net income of $68 million, or $0.21 per share for the same period in the prior year.

NetApp estimates revenue for the coming quarter to be in the range of $1.10 billion to $1.14 billion.

"With 50% growth in product revenue this quarter, NetApp significantly outperformed the competition. With accelerating revenue growth every quarter, we culminated our fiscal year with record levels of revenue, earnings per share, and free cash flow," said Tom Georgens, president & CEO. "The server virtualization and cloud computing trends are driving significant business for us, as our competitive advantages in those areas lead more customers to choose NetApp storage efficiency solutions for larger and larger data center projects."http://www.netapp.comhttp://

SiTime Builds Market in MEMS-based Timing

SiTime, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, has 85% share of the MEMS-based timing market, according to a recent report from Yole Développement, a leading MEMS technology consulting firm. The report also forecasted that the MEMS-based timing market will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 80% from 2010 to 2015.

SiTime's portfolio of MEMS-based silicon timing solutions include high performance differential and spread spectrum oscillators, VCXOs and multiple output clock generators.

The company recently announced that cumulative shipments of its MEMS First CMOS oscillators and clock generators are expected to exceed 20 million units in May 2010. The MEMs-based devices replace quartz in applications including networking, telecommunications, storage and consumer electronics.

"Silicon MEMS oscillator technology has been accepted by the timing market as a viable alternative to quartz in many applications. MEMS oscillators are now in high-volume production, with several million units produced per month," said Laurent Robin, lead analyst for MEMS sensors and oscillators at Yole Développement. "SiTime is leading this MEMS timing market with a broad product portfolio of clock generators, oscillators and embedded resonators."

Quantenna's 4x4 MIMO Wi-Fi Powers In-Home Video Distribution

Quantenna Communications introduced its third-generation Full-11n 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) chipset, enabling whole-home video distribution of multiple HD streams using 802.11n Wi-Fi.

Quantenna's newest 802.11n Wi-Fi chipset breaks ground in several ways. First, the design has been optimized for volume production and the company estimates it is approaching the 3x3 MIMO price range. Device size has been cut in half and power consumption by one-third as compared to previous solutions. It incorporated features that simplify transceiver certification in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Error vector magnitude (EVM) and phase-noise performance have both been enhanced to boost range and reliability, and the chipset's receiver linearity significantly reduces interference. Quantenna said its solution can reliable deliver multiple HD video streams (100+ Mbps) over distances of 100 feet or more.

Quantenna's third-generation chipset incorporates all specifications in the IEEE802.11n standard including 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO). It also incorporates extensions to the IEEE802.11n standard including dynamic digital beamforming, and wireless channel monitoring and optimizing. Furthermore, Quantenna has increased channel bandwidth to 80MHz. This will be useful because the IEEE is working on a new 802.11ac specification that promises speeds of up to 1.2 Gbps. Quantenna will leverage these capabilities.

David French, Quantenna's CEO, said that while other Wi-Fi silicon companies have focused on Wi-Fi designs for mobile handsets, his company has focused on the problem of in-home video delivery. Quantenna believes it is 12 months ahead of other companies in developing 4x4 MIMO silicon. In addition, Quantenna's beamforming technology and dynamic channel characterization enable high performance video bridging between home gateways and set-top boxes, TVs and other consumer electronics.

Cortina Builds its Integrated Access Portfolio

Cortina Systems, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, has expanded its Integrated Access silicon portfolio with the addition of EPON ONU, GPON ONU, and OLT devices.

Cortina Systems' CS8017/CS8210 ONUs are consolidated EPON/GPON ONU solutions with integrated VoIP processors and Ethernet switches. Cortina Systems' CS8022 OLT is the 2nd generation quad EPON OLT with integrated switch. The devices include a device driver, software applications, operating systems, and reference designs.

Ookla Clocks Average Global Broadband Speed at 7.6 Mbps

The average global download speed is 7.6 Mbps, according to a newly release study from Ookla, the company that operates the popular bandwidth testing service. Ookla conducts more than one million speed and quality tests daily, primarily through its and sites, and has completed more than 1.5 billion tests to date.

Using data from its servers, Ookla is able to capture specific broadband metrics than can be correlated geographically. These include upstream/downstream bandwidth, latency and jitter.

Some highlights of the Ookla report:

  • The top countries by download speed are South Korea (36.5Mbps), Latvia (23.3Mbps), Republic of Moldova (21.5Mbps), Japan (20.3Mbps) and Sweden (19.8Mbps).

  • In the U.S., the top performing states are Delaware (15.6Mbps), Rhode Island (15.2Mbps), Massachusetts (15Mbps), New Jersey (14.1Mbps) and Virginia (13.6Mbps); the state with the lowest performance, according to Net Index, is Alaska at 2.8Mbps average download speed.

  • The city with the fastest average broadband worldwide is Seoul, South Korea (34.49 Mbps), while the city with the fast broadband in the U.S. is San Jose, California (15.02 Mbps)

"By focusing our first Indexes on household broadband, we are able to deliver the most accurate and meaningful data needed to help drive decisions within government, carriers and ISPs. Ookla is in a unique position to provide this valuable information, and we're extremely pleased to be making our Net Index site available to the public," said Mike Apgar, co-founder and managing partner of Ookla.

Video: Ribbit's Voice Innovation Platform


Presented by Ted Griggs, CEO, Ribbit // CTO, BT Voice

Monday, May 24, 2010

AT&T Hit with Nationwide U-Verse Voice Outage

AT&T's suffered a widespread outage of its U-Verse residential voice service beginning on Tuesday morning. Most of the service was restored on Tuesday afternoon. AT&T has approximately 1.15 million U-verse voice customers.

Aricent's Broad Daylight Program Offers Design Expertise

Aricent introduced its Broad Daylight product development program created specifically for small and mid-sized telecommunications equipment manufacturers to hasten their entry into new telecom equipment markets such as LTE, Home Networking, Data Center Ethernet and Cloud Computing.

Aricent's Broad DayLight offers technology consulting, product design, pre-packaged software frameworks and product development services for equipment manufacturers. The company noted that design activity has picked up across the industry this year as the economic situation has improved and network traffic demands have continued to accelerate. New product categories are emerging across the telecom equipment market and manufacturers are in a race to exploit these opportunities. Aricent believes its Broad DayLight program provides a strategic advantage in time-to-market and technical expertise.

Some of the key product categories that Aricent has helped develop include femtocells, WiMAX and LTE base stations, next generation metro network development, IP Backhaul, solutions, green networks and micro telecom.

"Thousands of companies today are pursuing the global surge in telecom equipment spending being driven by multimedia services, new classes of connected devices and mobile broadband," said Keith Higgins, senior vice president of marketing at Aricent. "Extreme cost pressures, rigid time to market objectives and significant technology complexities have created a clear need for an experienced partner who can assist these companies from product concept to commercialization success. Aricent is the first company to address this underserved market in a fundamentally unique way."

AT&T Uses Wi-Fi to Boost Smartphone Coverage in Times Square

AT&T has launched a Wi-Fi hotzone in New York City's Times Square to provide an additional mobile broadband option in an area with consistently high 3G traffic and mobile data use. The company said it is considering deploying Wi-Fi in similar high-traffic sites across the country.

The AT&T hotspot is installed in the north central part of Times Square, near 7th Avenue between 45th and 47th Street, and can be accessed by AT&T smartphone, 3G LaptopConnect and broadband customers using any Wi-Fi enabled device at no additional charge.

"With this pilot AT&T Wi-Fi hotzone, we're examining new ways to combine our Wi-Fi and 3G networks to help ensure that AT&T customers in Times Square always have a fast mobile broadband connection to do what matters most to them," said John Donovan, AT&T chief technology officer.

Netflix Goes With Microsoft for PlayReady DRM

Netflix has selected Microsoft PlayReady technology and the Protected Interoperable File Format (PIFF) for use in new Netflix ready devices and applications. Netflix already uses the Microsoft technology for streaming on Windows-based PCs and Macs. The company expects the first Netflix ready devices beyond computers to incorporate Microsoft PlayReady as early as this summer.

Microsoft PlayReady DRM can be applied to various forms of digital content, including videos, games and images, and a wide range of audio and video formats, including MPEG Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), AAC+, Enhanced AAC+, H.264, Windows Media Audio (WMA) and Windows Media Video (WMV). Microsoft PlayReady also provides features, such as service domains and embedded licenses for offline viewing.

Motorola Supplies HD-STB for KDDI's "au Hikari"

KDDI has deployed Motorola's HD IPTV set-top (model VIP2060 ) for its "au Hikari" service, which supports 1 Gbps fiber broadband connections. The Motorola VIP2060 is am IPTV set-top with a built-in 500 GB HDD to support DVR functionality. Its standard quad tuner enables users to watch and record IPTV programs provided by KDDI as well as terrestrial and satellite (BS/110CS) broadcast services via a connected external antenna, with support for both Japanese broadcasting standards -- ISDB-T and ISDB-S. Advanced media capabilities include simultaneous recording, time-shifted viewing, delayed playback, trick play DVR capabilities and transcoding of MPEG-2 & MPEG-4 AVC video.

Verizon Global Wholesale's VoIP minutes Grow 200%

Verizon Global Wholesale's VoIP minutes of use grew more than 200 percent in 2009, compared with the previous year.

"Since we launched our VoIP portfolio 10 years ago, we've seen steady growth reflecting customer desire for reliable, cost-effective IP voice services," said Mike Millegan, president of Verizon Global Wholesale. "And, as this market grows, we continue to add new VoIP services while enhancing our existing portfolio."

Verizon confirmed plans to deploy more robust VoIP network interfaces in Europe this year. Other VoIP features planned in 2010 are support of Caller-Provided CLI (Caller Line Identity) and greater integration into customer portals.

Caller-Provided CLI is a caller ID feature that allows a main phone number to appear as the called ID even when a call is made from an extension, branch office, or home-based agent. This feature allows businesses that have staff at more than one office to present a more uniform presence when communicating with their customers.

Sprint Expands its Carrier Ethernet Footprint

Sprint has expanded its U.S. Ethernet footprint to Central and Northern New Jersey, Stockton, Calif., and Baltimore, Md., and has deepened its coverage in 10 U.S. markets. The carrier now offers Ethernet access in 28 markets nationwide and 35 countries globally. Sprint expects to further enhance and expand coverage in an additional 16 U.S. markets later this year.

Sprint's Ethernet access solution connects from the customer's premises to the Sprint Global MPLS or DIA networks using an Ethernet local loop. Speeds range from 2 Mbps to 1 Gbps, subject to market availability.

IBM and Force10 Networks Extend Resale Agreement

Force10 Networks' ExaScale E-Series virtualized core switch/router will be integrated into IBM's iDataPlex servers and Intelligent Cluster. IBM will also provide support for the ExaScale switch/routers -- including implementation and technical support -- for enterprise customers worldwide.

ASSIA's Optimization Software Garners 80% of U.S. DSL Lines

ASSIA, which supplies software for Dynamic Spectrum Management (DSM) of DSL networks, noted that it has now established sales with U.S. service providers representing 80% of the nation's DSL footprint. ASSIA's U.S. customers collectively provide DSL service to 27 million subscribers.

"We are extremely pleased with our customer traction over the past year," said Dr. John Cioffi, Chairman and CEO of ASSIA. "DSL service providers are increasingly recognizing the significant value that ASSIA can bring to their DSL networks. ASSIA is very active in serving customers on four continents and expects to further increase its penetration of the North American market in the next year."
  • 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.

Nokia Siemens Networks Publishes Wireless Access Energy Efficiency Rating

The measured power consumption of Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi EDGE Base Station in a typical configuration, with three sectors and four carriers per sector, averages 978 watts in a basic mode of operation. With software energy saving features, high performance can be maintained but power consumption can be reduced to 833 watts. In some instances this can be further reduced to 562 watts with a reduced configuration of two, instead of four, carriers per sector. Energy efficiency is critical as around 90 percent of the energy consumption of a cellular network comes from base stations.

These ratings conform to new technical specifications published by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). A key aim of this technical specification was to define reference base station configurations and load levels so that everyone in the industry can measure base station power consumption in a similar way. The specification takes into account different measurement conditions such as temperature, pressure and humidity.

Nokia Siemens Network said it is the first vendor to report wireless access network energy efficiency according to the ETSI specification

BT Enhances Onevoice with its Ribbit Softswitching Platform

BT is enhancing its Onevoice unified communications service by opening up its network and integrating capabilities of its Ribbit platform.

Ribbit, a Silicon Valley-based start-up that BT acquired in 2008, operates a softswitching infrastructure that ties advanced voice services into web applications.

The integration with BT Onevoice connects the worlds of the web and traditional corporate voice networks, providing corporate users with a single direct dial phone number for all incoming and outgoing calls from wherever they are in the world.

Users will be able to define how calls are routed through the Onevoice VPN to reach them if they are away from their office. Calls will be delivered on-net to other sites directly to the Ribbit softphone or via the nearest PSTN breakout point to any number globally, minimizing international call costs. Users can choose to have multiple device options for making and receiving calls through the Onevoice network offering significant call savings on mobile bills.

The cloud-based service includes a soft-phone which gives users easy access to a range of advanced call features for calling any BT Onevoice on-net number, according to their corporate dial-plan, in addition to off-net public numbers. Enterprise calls can be originated from a soft-phone, and all on net numbers and services such as BT Conferencing audio bridges can be accessed at a fraction of the cost of a mobile or hotel phone call.

The user's ‘One Number' can also be directed to multiple end points or devices which can easily be moved or changed, so that multiple end points or devices can be reached and even ring simultaneously. Onevoice Ribbit v1.0 offers a portal for users to set up and administer the service for themselves, including the configuration of end-user devices, call forwarding rules, conference speed dials and speed-dial favorites. Users will also be able to view call logs, manage passwords and voicemail including speech-to-text transcriptions. The transcription is sent as text to email or SMS, and the recording is attached to emails so users can listen to the voice mail.

The service will be released to selected customers in beta this summer, with full release expected by the end of this year.

U.S. Congress Schedules Hearings on Update to Communications Act

U.S. Congressional leaders are calling for new legislation to update the nation's communications laws, particularly in wake the the recent court ruling that overturned the FCC's authority to regulate Comcast's network management practices.

The initiative is supported by Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, Rep. Henry A. Waxman, the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, Senator John F. Kerry, the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, and Rep. Rick Boucher, the Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications, Technology.

A series of bipartisan, issue-focused meetings will be held in June.

In a related statement, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) said: "Congressional action to update the Communications Act is a clear signal to Chairman Genachowski to stand down on his recently announced plans to reclassify broadband services. Instead of an antiquated regulatory scheme imposed by the FCC, Congress will work to develop a legal and regulatory framework appropriate for our modern communications market."
  • Earlier this month, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski outlined a "Third Way" for regulating Internet traffic and services -- a new legal framework aimed at restoring the status quo consensus that existed prior to the court decision that vacated the FCC's authority to regulate the way Comcast manages peer-to-peer traffic on its network. Genachowski said he supports a light-touch regulatory approach that encourages investment in network infrastructure but that gives consumers "basic protection against anticompetitive or otherwise unreasonable conduct by companies providing the broadband access service (e.g., DSL, cable modem, or fiber) to which consumers subscribe for access to the Internet."

  • In April 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate the way Comcast manages peer-to-peer traffic on its network. The 3-0 court decision focused on the FCC's "ancillary authority" over broadband services. The ruling vacated an FCC Order issued in August of 2008 in which the FCC concluded that Comcast's management of its broadband Internet networks contravenes federal policies that protect the vibrant and open nature of the Internet. Specifically, the FCC concluded that by monitoring the content of its customers' traffic and selectively blocking certain peer-to-peer connections, Comcast unduly interfered with Internet users' right to access the lawful Internet content and to use the applications of their choice.