Thursday, September 30, 2010

EarthLink to Acquire ITC^Deltacom for Fiber Net in Southeast

EarthLink announced plans to acquire ITC^DeltaCom, a leading provider of integrated communications services to customers in the southeastern United States, for $3.00 per share in cash - representing a implied value of approximately $516 million, including assumption of $325 million in debt.

The acquisition will enable EarthLink to create a leading IP infrastructure and solutions company by combining its existing ISP and IP-focused businesses with Deltacom's integrated communications business.

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.

"The capabilities we acquire with this acquisition will be complemented by our existing New Edge Networks business as we combine our nationwide MPLS network capabilities with Deltacom's state-of-the-art infrastructure. The combined company will be especially well positioned to serve Fortune 1000 companies across the country, one-quarter of which are headquartered in Deltacom's footprint. In addition, the Deltacom assets will enable us to further reduce our consumer ISP cost structure, which we believe will result in additional incremental cash flow from that business in years to come," said EarthLink Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rolla P. Huff.

Bell Labs Achieves 606 Gbps Optical OFDM Transmission

Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs have attained a record optical transmission of 606-Gbps line rate at high spectral efficiency with an optical orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) transponder running over a distance of 1,600 km of fiber. The system uses OFDM with PDM 32-QAM subcarriers and detects the entire 606-Gbps multiplex in a single coherent detection step.

The research reported in a paper presented at the recent European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication (ECOC) in Turin, Italy.

"This new optical transmission record is very impressive and state-of-the-art," said Gee Rittenhouse, Head of Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs Research. "But more meaningful is that these technologies represent the leading edge of a transformation in communications networks that will enable us to keep up with future demand."

Dialogic Completes Acquisition of Veraz

Dialogic Corp. completed its previously announced acquisition of Veraz Networks.

The merged company, headquartered in San Jose, CA, is now named Dialogic and is publicly traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol (NASDAQ: DLGC).

Nick Jensen leads the company as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (formerly Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Dialogic), and Doug Sabella is the President and Chief Operating Officer (formerly Veraz President and Chief Executive Officer).

Veraz Networks supplies application, control, and bandwidth optimization products for service providers. The Veraz MGN separates the control, media, and application layers while unifying management of the network, thereby increasing service provider operating efficiency. The portfolio also includes its ControlSwitch, Network-adaptive Border Controller, I-Gate 4000 Media Gateways, the VerazView Management System, and a set of prepackaged applications.

Dialogic, which traces its origins back to 1984 and the beginning of computer telephony integration (CTI), currently supplies a range of media and signaling products for network equipment manufacturers providing video, voice, conferencing, and fax, along with network-edge infrastructure products. These products include TDM-IP voice and video gateways; SS7 and SIGTRAN signaling; and IP-to-IP border elements with security services, such as SIP mediation.

The merged company will offer communication solutions both to service providers and to other network equipment suppliers. Its technology expertise encompasses stand-alone media, including video, signaling and security solutions, as well as integrated media, signaling and security.

"While the capability of mobile networks around the world has been steadily expanding, the future will bring even greater demands on these networks due to the unprecedented growth in global mobile data and video traffic," said Jensen. "By combining Dialogic's proven expertise in enabling applications for voice and video with Veraz's leadership in voice and data session control, security and transport, we've created a company that gives our customers the technologies to maximize the multimedia capabilities of 3G/4G networks. In fact, over 2 billion mobile subscribers today communicate on the networks of service providers who have built their solutions on Dialogic products."

Neutral Tandem Completes Acquisition of Tinet

Neutral Tandem, which provides tandem interconnection services to wireless, wireline, cable and broadband telephony companies across the U.S., completed its previously announced acquisition of Tinet SpA, an Italian based global carrier exclusively committed to the IP Transit and Ethernet wholesale market.

The deal expands Neutral Tandem's IP-based network internationally, enabling global end-to-end delivery of wholesale
Voice, IP Transit and Ethernet solutions.

"We believe that this deal will allow us to leverage our core competencies, expand our global footprint, accelerate our Ethernet initiatives and move beyond voice into data solutions," said Rian Wren, President and CEO of Neutral Tandem.

Based in Chicago, Neutral Tandem serves 155 markets in 189 LATAs across the U.S., including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Miami, New York City and Washington D.C.

Tinet, formerly the carrier arm of Tiscali Group, has a network presence and customers in EMEA, Americas and APAC.

Zayo Completes Acquisition of American Fiber Systems

Zayo Group completed its previously announced acquisition of American Fiber Systems, adding approximately 1,000 route miles of metropolitan fiber footprint and over 600 incremental buildings. AFS operated in nine markets, six of which are new markets for Zayo Group and three of which bolster Zayo's network in existing markets. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AFS, which is based in Rochester, NY, operates in 6 new metropolitan markets for Zayo -- Boise, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Nashville, Reno and Salt Lake City. Zayo noted that the AFS customer base is weighted towards the carrier, wireless and other wholesale segments, similar to the sales and marketing approach of the Zayo Bandwidth business unit. Over 80% of monthly recurring revenue is "on-net" via AFS fiber.

With the addition of AFS and the recent acquisition of AGL Networks, Zayo now has over 22,000 fiber route miles and operates in 150 markets including dedicated fiber solutions in 60 metro markets.

Neutral Tandem -- Building Global Carrier Ethernet Exchanges

Interview with Surendra Saboo, EVP & COO, and John Bullock, VP of Engineering & Operations, Neutral Tandem

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

ZTE's Gecko - A Super-mini CDMA Base Station

ZTE introduced its "Gecko" -- a multi-carrier super-mini CDMA base station.

ZTE's Gecko base station supports several IP access modes including MAN, LAN, PON, xDSL, and satellite. Its coverage radius can reach 300 meters. The unit is designed for use in offices, hotels, retail and entertainment outlets. The Gecko is capable of supporting 31 1x users or 64 EV-DO data users. ZTE said it is the first in the industry to support both 1x and EV-DO services simultaneously. In addition, the Gecko base station can be flexibly deployed in conjunction with the current outdoor macro base stations to achieve soft handoff and to enable unified management and operator maintenance.

China Telecom has started deploying the units on a trial basis in its Sichuan network.

Verizon Charts Global Data Center Expansion

To meet the increasing demand for the full range of cloud services, Verizon Business announced plans to expand and enhance its data centers around the globe.

The infrastructure expansion comprises more than 5,500 additional server cabinets in the company's Internet data centers in Paris, Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Belgium, Canberra, Hong Kong and throughout the U.S. The expansion further enables the delivery of private clouds via more than 200 global data centers connected to Verizon's MPLS network, Private IP.

Within the next year, Verizon Business will expand its flagship cloud computing services suite - Computing as a Service (CaaS) - into centers in San Jose, Calif.; London; and Canberra, Australia. In addition, CaaS data centers to serve U.S. government customers will come online in Miami and Culpeper, Va., during the first quarter of 2011.

Verizon said these moves bring it another step closer to achieving its "everything-as-a-service" (EaaS) vision of offering cloud-based solutions on an as-needed basis to enterprises around the globe.

Verizon Adds Hybrid Vehicles to Its Fleet

Verizon will add more than 1,600 alternative-energy vehicles its fleet across the country this year. In New Jersey, Verizon is adding 260 hybrids. This will include Toyota hybrid sedans, Chevrolet hybrid pickup trucks and unique, new "mild hybrid" aerial fiber splicing trucks.

FT Acquires Elettra -- Telecom Italia's Submarine Cable Group

France Telecom-Orange has acquired Elettra, a subsidiary of the Telecom Italia group specializing in the laying and maintenance of submarine cables, for EUR 20 million.

The deal involves the acquisition of two cable ships -- the Certamen and the Teliri -- along with their crews and maintenance contracts. France Telecom already operates a fleet of four vessels through its subsidiary France Telecom Marine.

Of France Telecom Marine current three ships are dedicated to maintenance services in the Mediterranean basin, the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. The René Descartes, the flagship of France Telecom Marine, is specialized in laying new telecommunications submarine systems worldwide.

France Telecom said the acquisition boosts its ability to service telecommunications operators mainly in Europe, in the Mediterranean basin and around Africa, where the Group now operates in close to twenty countries. In this region, the Group has played an active role in the creation of several major networks including the LION cable linking Madagascar, Mauritius and Réunion - soon to be extended to Kenya with the LION2 cable -, the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), and the ACE cable that will provide 23 West African countries from 2012 with efficient and affordable access to international networks. France Telecom Marine and Elettra will be participating in the installation of LION2 and ACE.

Hibernia Atlantic to Construct Lowest Latency Cable from NY-to-London

Hibernia Atlantic unveiled plans to build the lowest latency submarine cable route from New York to London. "Project Express" aims to achieve Round Trip Delay (RTD) latency of under 60 milliseconds, providing a strategic advantage to high frequency financial traders.

Hibernia Atlantic said its new submarine network build will be the shortest route from New York to London. It will initially be lit with 40 Gbps technology and upgraded to 100 Gbps in the future.

The first phase of the new build will begin with a new cable from the County of Somerset in the UK, to Halifax in Canada then connect to Hibernia's current low latency cable from Halifax to New York. In addition, the new system will include branching units for future latency enhancements to the US and Continental Europe. The build is projected to be completed by the summer of 2012.

"Demand for low latency routes has grown exponentially over the past several years," states Bjarni Thorvardarson, CEO of Hibernia Atlantic. "Project Express will offer the lowest latency from New York to London and provide demanding customers the speed and accuracy they require." Furthermore, the new Express transAtlantic cable will allow customers to reach other key financial cities and will offer lowest latency connections between Frankfurt and London and into Chicago, New York City and Toronto. Additionally, Toronto will now connect into London at sub 70ms."

BT Pursues FTTP Project in Cornwall

BT announced a £132 million project to bring fibre access to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The FTTP network will be open to all communications providers on a wholesale basis.

BT is providing £78.5 million in funding for the project and there will be ERDF Convergence public investment of up to £53.5 million.

Intel Invests $20M in Korea's WiBro -- October Mobile Wonderland Launch

Intel Capital is investing US$20 million in WIBRO Infra Co., a joint venture with KT, Samsung and KBIC, to boost its wireless broadband rollout.

In addition to availability in the metropolitan areas of Seoul, Inchon and Suwon, KT will expand the WIBRO service to five new cities -- Busan, Daegu, Gwangju, Daejeon and Ulsan -- and the expressways of Gyeongbu, Jungbu, Honam and Yeongdong.

Starting Oct. 1, KT will be offering a "Mobile Wonderland" -- an integrated offering combining 3G mobile (WCDMA), Wi-Fi) and high-speed wireless Internet (WIBRO) access. KT is also migrating its WIBRO network onto the standard of 10MHz WiMAX channel width that will allow interoperability and roaming with WiMAX networks worldwide. Coupled with better radio planning, this migration is expected to improve the quality of service by up to two times.

KT aims to achieve nationwide WiMAX coverage -- with its WIBRO service covering 82 cities an 85 percent of the Korean population -- by March 2011.

KT and Intel are also collaborating with major PC manufacturers to launch the first Intel Core and Intel Atom processor-based laptops and netbooks in Korea featuring Intel embedded WiMAX solutions, based on the Intel Centrino Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250 network adapter.

T-Mobile + Orange UK Joint Venture Rebrands as "Everything Everywhere"

Everything Everywhere, the newly formed mobile operator following merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, outlined plans increase its network footprint and retail presence and expand in broadband services while cutting staff.

The company aims to achieve cost synergies of £3.5 billion by consolidating operations. The company said these integration plans are ahead of schedule, and that its workforce will be trimmed by about 7.5%, resulting in the loss of about 1,200 jobs. The company aims to achieve a double digit, cash flow CAGR from 2010 to 2014.

Starting October 5th, Orange and T-Mobile customers in the UK will be able to access two national networks at no extra cost, as first phase of multi-network strategy to combine 2G, 3G, 4G, fixed broadband and Wi-Fi.

As of the end of Q2 2010, the combined company had 27,931,000 customers, up 3.4% of a year earlier. Mobile service revenue for the period was £1.56bn and EBITDA was £309m. Both revenues and EBITDA in the quarter were impacted by the introduction last year of lower regulatory caps on mobile termination rate.

Tom Alexander, Chief Executive Officer of Everything Everywhere, said, "Everything Everywhere has made rapid progress in the six months since incorporation, with a strong leadership team in place and a clear strategy based on transforming the market through network leadership. We have identified in excess of £3.5bn of synergies, allowing us to further invest in our networks and building our customer offer for both today and tomorrow. Our aspiration is to give people instant access to everything everywhere and with the launch of national roaming next week -- enabling our customers to access what matters to them over two national networks -- we're well on our way".

European Commission Rules Against Public TV Telecom Taxes in France, Spain

The European Commission requested France and Spain to abolish new taxes recently implemented on telecom operators to support public TV channels.

In France, a new charge on telecoms operators was introduced in March 2009 after the decision was taken by the French Government to end paid advertising on public TV channels. Telecom operators must pay 0.9% of their total revenues exceeding €5 million received from subscribers. The annual revenue from the new charge, which is paid to the French Treasury, is estimated at around €400 million.

In Spain, a new law imposed in September 2009 imposed a charge of 0.9% on the gross revenues of telecoms operators to make up for the loss of revenue from paid advertising on the Spanish national public broadcaster. A limited number of operators were exempted from paying this charge based on the geographical scope and the type of telecoms services they provide. The charge is expected to generate revenue of around €230 million in 2010.

In both cases, the Commission considers these "telecoms taxes" to be incompatible with EU telecoms rules, which require specific charges on telecoms operators to be specifically and directly related to covering the costs of regulating the telecoms sector. The requests take the form of "reasoned opinions" under EU infringement procedures. France and Spain now have two months to inform the Commission of measures taken to comply with EU telecoms rules. If they fail to do so, the Commission may refer them to the EU Court of Justice.

Sprint Execs Resign from Clearwire Board

Daniel R. Hesse, Keith O. Cowan, and Steven L. Elfman have resigned from the Clearwire board of directors. All three are all officers of Sprint Nextel Corporation and were nominated to the Clearwire board by Sprint.

In a statement, Clearwire said it informed by Sprint that "the decisions to resign were made out of an abundance of caution to address questions raised by Clearwire regarding new developments in antitrust law. Clearwire's board structure allows for 13 members, seven of which Sprint has the right to appoint. The remaining four Sprint appointees to the Clearwire board are unchanged, and Sprint reserved the right to appoint new members to the Clearwire board at a later date."

Huawei Proposes Major Manufacturing Site in India

Huawei has proposed a plan to invest in a US$500 million manufacturing site near Chennai, according to The Economic Times of India. The proposal came during an official visit to China by an Indian minister seeking greater economic cooperation between the countries.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cable&Wireless Worldwide Picks Cisco's Unified Computing System

Cable&Wireless Worldwide has selected Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) as its next-generation data centre platform to deliver an enterprise cloud computing solution. Cable&Wireless Worldwide plans to launch its service later this year.

3GPP to Include RF Pattern Matching LBS in Release 10

The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards organization has technically endorsed RF Pattern Matching technology for incorporation into its 3G UMTS specifications. The endorsement was made by the Radio Access Network (RAN) Work Group 2 on UMTS during the recent 3GPP standards meeting in Madrid. RF Pattern Matching will be incorporated into Release 10 of the 3G UMTS specifications, expected to become final in late 2010 or early 2011. This will also set the stage for opportunities to incorporate RF Pattern Matching into LTE and other future air interfaces.

Polaris Wireless, which supplies high-accuracy software-based wireless location solutions using Radio Frequency (RF) Pattern Matching, said the endorsement will lead to a higher level of location-based services (LBS) accuracy and improved experiences for wireless customers compared with current Cell-ID based technologies.

"The decision to incorporate RF Pattern Matching into the 3G UMTS specifications is needed for all service providers wanting to provide the highest-SLA option for LBS as it gives them more credible options for public safety and commercial applications," said Manlio Allegra, president and chief executive officer at Polaris Wireless. "This level of LBS accuracy will create an improved user experience for wireless customers, which ultimately generates additional revenue streams for carriers and other enterprises offering LBS applications."

Polaris also noted that the FCC is currently considering new E911 Phase II regulations that would improve indoor location capabilities for first responders. Using RF Pattern Matching, Polaris' WLS software solution enables carriers and OEMs to be prepared to meet these new FCC requirements with little or no investment in new infrastructure or hardware.

ng Connect Program Builds Momentum for LTE Apps

The ng Connect Program, which was co-founded by Alcatel-Lucent to stimulate the development of network-ready applications, services, content and devices for LTE, has added 11 new members, bringing its roster to 47 companies.

ng Connect is a cross-industry effort to collaboratively develop new services, devices and business models for emerging LTE networks.

"We've just conducted our most recent ng Connect Program member meeting where members from around the world were represented and the excitement about the capabilities and opportunities presented by 4G and LTE networks was intense," said Steve West, Vice President of Emerging Technology & Media at Alcatel-Lucent. "In addition to the showcase demos that the program members have delivered, our membership sees tremendous opportunities for program expansion into high growth areas such as telematics, retail and media where smart, high capacity networks will drive a new era of innovation."

The new ng Connect Program members include:

Atrato --- a storage innovator specializing in high performance, autonomic tiered storage solutions.

BlogRadio -- a mobile media services developer working on a solution to turn written materials into cloud-based audio and video streams available anywhere, anytime.

Intelligent Mechatronic Systems Inc. (IMS) --- a developer of in-vehicle, voice-interactive services and turn-key, end-to-end telematics solutions.

IVOX --- an information services provider of predictive, driver-based information for Driver Risk Management.

Netsweeper -- a provider of Internet content filtering and web threat management solutions and services.

Nuance Communications -- a leader in mobile voice technology supplying solutions to the world's leading automotive manufacturers, Tier One suppliers and third-party platforms.

Skymeter --- a developer of financial-grade GPS (FGPS) applications.

STRATACACHE --- a provider of scalable and cost-effective digital signage, IP video, content distribution and enterprise video acceleration solutions.

Telepresence Tech -- a provider of advanced telepresence solutions.

VisionMAX --- a multi-platform custom applications and business system integrator. --- a travel and entertainment content publisher and developer of a database of authoritative travel content.

Holland's IP2 Internet Builds Data Center with Juniper

IP2 Internet, a Dutch business Internet Service Provider, has deployed an all Juniper Networks infrastructure for its new data center. By running Junos across its routing, switching and security deployment as a single network operating system, IP2 has a centralized architecture to reduce cost and complexity in the network. The installation comprises routers, switches and security appliances that run on Junos OS, Juniper's single operating system. The companies estimate that this unified approach has reduced OPEX by as much as 20 percent. Financial terms were not disclosed.

LightSquared Donates Satellite Access to Tribal Communities

LightSquared, which recently unveiled plans to build a wholesale LTE network across the U.S., signed an agreement with Indian Health Service (IHS), the lead federal agency to serve health needs of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) persons, to donate satellite phones and associated service for use in AI/AN communities. All satellite phones will come with service provided free of charge through 2020 to address the lack of reliable telecommunications connectivity which often plagues Tribal communities.

LightSquared includes the satellite services assets of the former SkyTerra Communications. LightSquared will provide up to 2,000 satellite phones and service to this project, depending on the requirements of IHS.

"The lack of ubiquitous telephone connectivity, let alone broadband, for residents of these Tribal communities is highly regrettable, and we commend FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski for shining the spotlight on this serious issue," said Sanjiv Ahuja, chief executive officer of LightSquared. "Our goal is to deliver the benefits of modern communications to people who have little or no access and bolster their ability to provide potentially lifesaving services to their fellow citizens."

Ericsson's First Live LTE Network in North America

Ericsson confirmed that it is the primary supplier of LTE infrastructure for MetroPCS and its equipment is being used in the company's Dallas/Fort Worth network. This is Ericsson's first commercial LTE deployment in North America.

Ericsson's full end-to-end LTE solution for MetroPCS includes:

RBS 6000 Base Station -- along with LTE, the software-upgradeable base station supports Wideband CDMA (WCDMA), GSM and GPRS/EDGE.

IP-RAN -- makes it possible for MetroPCS to be the world's first operator to run both CDMA and LTE over a common connection. This simplifies network management and lowers operating costs by allowing MetroPCS to leverage its CDMA and LTE assets and reduces power consumption.

Evolved Packet Core -- Ericsson's Evolved Packet Core solution for MetroPCS includes the Serving GPRS Support Node - Mobility Management Entity (SGSN-MME) and the Converged Packet Gateway (CPG) products. The SGSN-MME is an evolution of Ericsson's SGSN product, upgradeable by software-only means, and providing pooled and triple-access operation. The CPG provides high-quality broadband services for mobile and fixed traffic in the packet core network, and permits consolidated mobile gateway and aggregation router capabilities in a compact platform.

Network Services -- Ericsson has provided MetroPCS with LTE network design, optimization, engineering, implementation, integration and customer support services for the Dallas/Fort Worth metropolitan area.

MetroPCS Launches LTE in Dallas/Fort Worth

MetroPCS Communications launched commercial LTE service in its second market -- the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex (DFW). LTE service in Las Vegas began earlier this month.

The MetroPCS LTE network in Dallas was supplied by Ericsson.

MetroPCS is selling the Samsung Craft 4G handset as its first LTE device. MetroPCS offers monthly 4G LTE service plans for $55 or $60, which include talk, text and a 4G Web experience initially on an unlimited basis.

"MetroPCS will continue to expand 4G LTE network coverage into all of our markets through 2011 to offer unmatched value in 4G LTE services on a no-contract basis for all of our customers," said Roger D. Linquist, president, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS. "The launch of our 4G LTE network in the metroplex is yet another milestone in our expansion and our vision of the Internet going mobile."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sandvine's Usage Management Enables Accurate Usage-Based Billing

Sandvine released a new version of its Usage Management product that addresses usage-based billing and unified charging for converged networks. Specifically, Sandvine Usage Management release 3.1 introduces a new Record Generator license that adds the following capabilities to the Usage Management product and complements the support for mobile data pre-paid charging, announced earlier this year:

  • Supports detailed and accurate charging requirements for post-paid service plans using an interface to Offline Charging Systems (OFCS)

  • Provides customizable, policy-based usage data records based on highly flexible network policy rules, triggered by time or volume

  • Supports a variety of use cases, such as usage record transfer to Operational Support Systems (OSS) for customer bill auditing, or for back-up of Online Charging Systems (OCS)

  • Seamlessly interoperates with 3rd party billing network elements within mobile, fixed and converged networks using customizable data record formats

  • Integrates into legacy and 3G mobile networks and offers seamless migration into future 4G networks.

Fujitsu Launches Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Japan

Fujitsu will begin offering a pay-as-you-go Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in Japan starting October 1, 2010. The IaaS public cloud service delivers bundled virtualized ICT infrastructure from Fujitsu's datacenters, providing resources on a metered-use billing system that is based on customer usage. This includes server and storage functionality as well as network and security features. Over 200 companies have participated in a trial service since May.

NTT DOCOMO Considers Offering an E-book Service

NTT DOCOMO will conduct a trial e-book distribution service that will deliver content via DOCOMO smartphones, such as the Android™-powered Xperia™ and Galaxy S models. The trial is expected to run from late October till the end of the year, and the carrier is planning to start of a full-scale e-book retail service with Dai Nippon Publishing early next year.

NTT DOCOMO said it trial will offer about 50 titles, including electronic books, manga comics, magazines and photo books, some linked with supplementary videos and maps. The e-books will be available at "docomo market," a mobile portal created by DOCOMO to provide users with easy access to smartphone apps and content from around the world. All titles and content viewers for the trial will be provided for free, other than packet transmission charges.

The full commercial service is expected to launch with more than 100,000 titles.

Trusted Computing Group Announces Integration of Security Protocols

Trusted Computing Group (TCG), which develops industry standards for security, announced that its Trusted Network Connect (TNC) standards have been integrated with the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) standards developed by the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

SCAP-validated scanners can now be used with TNC network security gear to identify and quarantine unhealthy devices. This will improve compliance with less cost by automating compliance checking and network enforcement on millions of PCs and other systems.

"To address the information security threats of the 21st century, we must integrate and automate our defenses - especially the way that information flows across the defensive enterprise," said Tony Sager, Chief of the Vulnerability Analysis and Operations Group at the National Security Agency (NSA). "Using the TNC and SCAP standards together is a great step forward in this integration effort, and this also demonstrates the power of public-private collaboration."

Bridgewater and Sandvine Partner for Mobile Policy Control

Bridgewater Systems and Sandvine completed integration and interoperability testing of their respective platforms for enabling intelligent policy control solutions for 3G and 4G mobile operators.

The tests involved Sandvine's Policy Traffic Switch (PTS), which detects network conditions, counts usage and enforces network, and subscriber policy decisions defined by the Bridgewater Policy Controller (PCRF). The testing included the PCRF Gx and Gy usage metering interfaces for 3GPP-compliant Policy Control Enforcement Points.

The companies said their joint policy solutions enable mobile operators to deliver tiered services by applying policies that, for example, give Bronze subscribers 500 megabytes per month of data, with no peer-to-peer services or parental controls, while providing Gold subscribers with one gigabyte per month of data including peer-to-peer services and parental controls. The solution could also be used to personalize applications usage by applying policies such as allowing unlimited social networking for a fixed monthly fee and offering usage restrictions during school hours. It could also ensure fair usage by applying policies based on subscriber service plans and real-time network congestion levels.

Brocade Backs New 16 Gbps Fibre Channel Standard

Brocade announced its endorsement of FC-PI-5 -- the next generation Fibre Channel (FC) industry standard, which will offer 16 Gbps performance. Over the years, the FC technology cycle has progressed from 1, 2, 4, 8 and now 16 Gbps rates.

Brocade said it expects to offer the industry's first end-to-end 16 Gbps FC product portfolio in the first half of 2011.

Brocade noted that it currently represents 67.5 percent of the FC switch and director market share. As a result, the company's endorsement of the standard is a key element of widespread adoption. 16 Gbps FC is a key technology to support increasing data center scale and solid state storage, and it will be critical to scaling new virtualized workloads based on its proven performance, reliability and simplicity.

New Zealand's Orcon selects Alcatel-Lucent's Velocix

Orcon, which provides calling and Internet services to both residential, business and wholesale customers around New Zealand, will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's Velocix Digital Media Delivery Platform in key centres across New Zealand. The network will allow Orcon to offer broadcasters, content distributors and web-site owners a faster and more efficient connection to broadband users across multiple networks and devices.

"As video-on-demand and streaming TV web sites grow in popularity, the amount of online video watched by broadband users is growing at an incredible rate," said Charlie Boyd, Head of Wholesale at Orcon. "By leveraging Alcatel-Lucent's Velocix infrastructure, we can offer content providers a local content delivery network (CDN) solution that meets their specific requirements, with the assurance of knowing its technology and services are proven by telcos and broadcasters around the world."

Etisalat Sri Lanka Upgrades Mobile Network with ALU

Etisalat Lanka has awarded a multimillion dollar contract to Alcatel-Lucent to boost its GSM/EDGE network capacity and coverage and build its first 3G HPSA+ all-IP broadband network. As sole supplier, Alcatel-Lucent will deliver converged radio access, a new all-IP mobile packet core network capable of supporting 2G, 3G and LTE (including next-generation subscriber data management and end-to-end policy control), a full end-to-end IP transport solution and related professional services. In total, 480 GSM/EDGE sites and 515 3G HPSA+ sites will be deployed as part of the contract. Alcatel-Lucent's solution also includes a "MiTV" application that will enable Etisalat Lanka to offer advanced mobile broadband and multimedia services such as mobile interactive television and video to over 3 million subscribers and businesses in Sri Lanka.

Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 9500 Sets Energy Efficiency

Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP) has met energy efficiency standards under the Telecommunications Energy Efficiency Ratio (TEER) metric released by ATIS.

The TEER standard provides a comprehensive methodology for measuring and reporting energy consumption as well as quantifying a network component's ratio of work performed to energy consumed.

"Today's announcement fulfills a pledge we announced just two months ago to ensure the FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP met the standards defined by the TEER metric," said Bill Erickson, senior vice president of planning and development at Fujitsu Network Communications. "With the testing process complete we once again prove our dedication to producing communications technologies that not only are the most advanced in terms of capability, but also environmental responsibility."
  • Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 4500 MSPP has also met the TEER energy efficiency standards.

McAfee and Riverbed Push for Integrated Security and WAN Optimization

McAfee and Riverbed Technology have expanded their partnership to deliver Web 2.0 security capabilities on the Riverbed Services Platform (RSP). This integrates the McAfee Web Gateway solution with Riverbed Steelhead appliance, providing branch offices with proactive security protection in the Riverbed appliance and avoiding the need to deploy separate security and WAN optimization boxes.

Riverbed's RSP is a virtualized, extensible data services platform that runs on the Steelhead hardware. McAfee Web Gateway Security can now run on the virtualized machine. Riverbed said there is no performance degradation and various redundancy features have been included to avoid a single point of failure. McAfee Firewall Enterprise software has previously been offered on the RSP.

NETGEAR Ups its Game with Network Mgt and 10GE Managed Switch

NETGEAR announced its first centralized network management console for its business products, and a 10 Gbps managed switch.

The new NETGEAR ProSafe Network Management System (NMS200) gives customers a way to discover, configure, monitor and manage all NETGEAR Layer 2 and Layer 3 switches on their network from a single interface. It can provide customers control across NETGEAR switching, wireless, storage and security products on the network. The ProSafe Network Management System (NMS200) will be available in October 2010 with several license options that support the number of devices a business may have on their network.

The ProSafe 24-port 10 GE Managed L2+ Switch (XSM7224S) provides 10 Gbps server performance and scalability across the network. The ProSafe Network Management System will be expanded in future releases to manage other NETGEAR products. Available in December 2010, the ProSafe 24-port 10GE Managed L2+ Switch (XSM7224S) has a list price of $11,700 and a Layer 3 license upgrade (XSM7224L) will also be available for an additional $2,900.

Ceragon Supplies Backhaul for Nigeria's Glo

Globacom Nigeria (Glo) will utilize Ceragon's advanced FibeAir IP-10 solution for backhauling voice and data services as part of its broadband access solutions portfolio for enterprise users. Glo is also deploying Ceragon's comprehensive management software and installation services.

Glo offers a variety of services including mobile broadband access and voice/data access. The company has over 25 million subscribers in Nigeria and owns network assets in other African markets including Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Gambia.

Taiwan VIBO Buys 3,500 3G Base Stations from ZTE

ZTE will supply more than 3,500 3G base-stations to VIBO Telecom to replace its current 3G network around Taiwan over the coming year. The base-stations to be provided for VIBO are based on ZTE's SDR (Software Defined Radio) technology. This will enable VIBO to roll out 21.6 Mbps HSPA+ mobile broadband services across the entire island of Taiwan. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ZTE Launches 80-Wave x 100 Gbps Carrier Platform

ZTE announced an end-to-end carrier network optical transport solution boasting an 80-wave, 100G ultra-wide system capacity. ZTE's solution incorporates its ZXR10 T8000 100G cluster-based router, its ZXONE 8000 large-capacity cross-connect, and its ZXR10 8900E core switch, all operating over 100G interfaces. The 100G network, put together by these three high-end devices, are controlled by a unified network management plane.

ZTE also said it has independently developed multiplexing QPSK modulation technology need to support ultra-long distance transmissions of over 1000km without the need for power relays.

"ZTE has been actively promoting the development and commercialization of the 100G standards in the industry," said Fan Xiaobing, general manager of ZTE's carrier network product line. "We were heavily involved in drafting the proposal for the 100GE standard of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), a key participant in advancing the 100G system of China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), as well as the proposal for the 100G standard of the Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF)."

Telstra Launches M2M for Business and Consumer Devices

Telstra launched a Wireless M2M (machine-to-machine) service to help enterprise and government customers self-manage devices that use its Next G network.

The Telstra Wireless M2M Control Centre aims to support devices for business needs, such as electronic metering, asset tracking and remote operations, as well as a new generation of connected consumer devices, such as electronic readers, picture frames and portable navigation devices.

Telstra has entered into an exclusive, multi-year agreement with Jasper Wireless to provide the M2M technology that powers the Telstra Wireless M2M Control Centre.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

IBM to Acquire BLADE Network Technologies

IBM has agreed to acquire BLADE Network Technologies, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, for an undisclosed sum.

BLADE provides blade server and top-of-rack switches, as well as software to virtualize and manage cloud computing and other workloads. The company has pursued the "switch on a blade" concept and has shipped over 9 million ports to date. BLADE has also developed switching virtualization software for cloud computing environments. This allows servers to more closely integrate with the network so that clients can deploy thousands of virtual machines to run large application workloads in the cloud and reduce complexity through simplified management.

IBM said the acquisition builds on its networking capabilities. IBM and BLADE have worked together since 2002, resulting in thousands of joint clients. In fact, over 50 percent of IBM System x BladeCenters currently attach to or use BLADE products.

This year, IBM introduced a full line-up of new, workload-optimized systems that incorporate innovation at each level -- from microprocessors and firmware software to middleware and hardware.

"BLADE will help IBM better integrate networks with its systems, optimizing them for workloads that require high-speed and low-latency performance such as cloud computing and business analytics. For example, faster data transport enables faster decisions important for analytics workloads," said Brian Truskowski, General Manager, IBM System Storage and Networking. "BLADE will increase IBM's System Networking development, sales, support, skills and awareness and help IBM build smarter systems that are optimized for client requirements."

"BLADE views this as a great opportunity to continue working with the ecosystem of technology providers that have helped make our company successful while allowing our technology to become a more central part of the data center," said Vikram Mehta, CEO of BLADE. "Our very talented and hard working people are focused on building innovative system networking solutions, making BLADE an ideal fit to help IBM execute on its strategy to build smarter systems that deliver more value to clients around the world."
  • BLADE Network Technologies was established in 2006 as a spin out of Nortel’s Blade Server Switch Business Unit (BSSBU)/ Major investors in BLADE include NEC, Juniper Networks, and Garnett & Helfrich Capital.

  • BLADE has previously disclosed OEM relationships with Hewlett Packard, IBM and NEC.

AppliedMicro Introduces PacketPro Multicore Processor

AppliedMicro introduced its next-generation PacketPro multicore processor System-on-a-Chip (SoC) family designed for multifunction printers, network control planes, access points, and industrial/security applications.

PacketPro is AppliedMicro's second-generation embedded processor SoC family and features offload of critical features for multiple PowerPC processors with frequency capabilities ranging in performance from 600 MHz to 2.0 GHz and up. The line will employ 40nm technology and usage-based power management to reduce energy consumption. A multi-level crypto engine offers simultaneous wire-speed performance along with investment protection against product cloning and hardware-software tampering.

"PacketPro is an advanced SoC architecture that offers an ideal combination of high-performance and low power consumption at low cost," said Vinay Ravuri, Vice President and General Manager of AppliedMicro's Processing Products Division. "Flexible power management enables deep sleep operating power of less than 200mW and includes Wake on LAN, USB, PCIe and others. With the ability to scale-down and turn off SoC resources when not in use and to scale-up to full power when system demands require, PacketPro provides developers unprecedented ability to dynamically control power consumption levels."

Some key features include: performance of up to 2 GHz per core, 32KB L1 I/D & 256KB dedicated L2 cache per core, support for full symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) and ultra flexible asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP). Memory and bus architecture supports 16/32/64-bit DDR2/3 up to 1,600Mbps and beyond with ECC option. Connectivity features include PCI-e Gen 2 controller, GE, 10GE, SGMII, RGMII, IEEE1588 Rev2 on all Ethernet ports, USB 2.0 - H/D, OTG, all with integrated PHY, USB 3.0, SATA ports and SDHC. The PacketPro family is manufactured on a 40nm TSMC CMOS process and is available in both wire-bond and flip-chip packaging. The first PacketPro device begins sampling in November.

Chunghwa Telecom Lab Implements Mu Test Suite

Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories, the R&D arm of Taiwan's leading service provider, has selected the Mu Test Suite in order to quickly develop and deploy new services, ensure the security of its services and quickly resolve customer issues on the network.

Mu's Test Suite leverages actual traffic pulled from the service provider's network to quickly identify and resolve problems with a given service. This test methodology accurately models how a new service functions in the live production environment prior to deployment, and ensures the overall security of the service. In addition, it allows the service provider to quickly identify and fix any potential customer issues once the service is deployed.

Chunghwa Telecom is employing several product modules in the Mu Test Suite to ensure the security and resilience of its NGN services including protocol fuzzing, denial of service (DoS) and published vulnerability analysis (PVA). For live issues in the field a security alert is triggered by any IPS device and packets are captured along with the suspect traffic. The traffic is then imported into the Mu Test Suite where it is statefully replayed in the test lab to reproduce the alert. Once the problem has been targeted and fixed, it is then re-tested and validated.

"Chunghwa Telecom is recognized worldwide as an innovator that adopts new and exciting technologies," said Dave Kresse, CEO of Mu Dynamics. "With the Mu Test Suite, Chunghwa can now statefully recreate live field issues using actual service traffic and identify security and reliability bugs prior to deployment, enabling increased reliability and a better overall experience for its customers."
  • In July, Mu Dynamics enhanced its IP testing suite with new capabilities that enable developers to simulate huge numbers of users, sessions and applications for next-generation network services.
    Mu's Active Service Replication (ASR) technology transforms the actual service interactions into parameterized test scenarios, which allows the testing of applications, services and the application-aware network. With this approach, customers can automatically generate tailor-made test cases replicating the actual mobile application, service and underlying network infrastructure.

    For instance, the Mu solution could be used to transform captured packets into a test that simulates and verifies the performance of hundreds of virtual machines in a data center, the network impact of 10,000s of gamers on smart phones, or the likely server bottlenecks if a million people simultaneously sent a tweet or SMS in response to a television ad.

Vitesse Optimizes for 10G Stacking Switches

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced a simplified, low-power solution for high-density, managed Layer 2 and Layer 3 stackable, Ethernet enterprise switches.

Vitesse said it is driven to bring cost-effective carrier network features to traditional Enterprise network equipment. Its E-StaX-III switch engines provide fast forwarding with a simplified software management environment, including a single point of management that can oversee up to 768 1-GB ports and 32 10-GB ports. Typical time for failover switching between terminating traffic on one stack and recovering traffic on another stack is less than 100 ms. Worst-case latency is reduced by 50-percent within a stack, or in best cases up to 90-percent over less sophisticated management solutions.

"The unique stacking ports on E-StaX-III allow stacking connectivity between switches with no additional devices needed and over very cost efficient HDMI-like cables with up to 12G full duplex traffic forwarding per stacking port," said Martin Olsen, product marketing manager at Vitesse. "As the industry's lowest chip count solution for Carrier-oriented Enterprise applications, our customers can realize unprecedented BOM cost savings."

Orange Business Builds Cloud Services with Cisco, EMC, VMware

Orange Business Services announced a business alliance with Cisco, EMC and VMware to offer end-to-end cloud computing services for enterprises. The "Flexible 4 Business" alliance will offer optimized cloud solutions delivered over the Orange Business network. This includes:

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

  • Private cloud: Customized solutions based on Vblock Infrastructure Packages that combine virtualization, networking, computing, storage, security, and management technologies from Cisco, EMC and VMware, together with a comprehensive service catalogue (computing, storage, operating systems, middleware) based on platforms hosted in Orange datacenters, sub-parties datacenters or in customers datacenters. The related services are managed by Orange Business Services on an "as-a-service" mode enabling the expected flexibility in a highly secured environment.

  • Back-up services: Highly secure hosted and managed back-up solution delivered as-a-service: evolving and charged according to real usage, enabling customers to benefit from an effective solution that grows with their requirement and does not require initial investments.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

  • Security services: Enable the ability to offer anti-virus and URL filtering solutions as-a-service. These SaaS solutions enable all users to benefit from immediate protection even when out of the office, and for customers to roll out precise security policies within seconds.

  • Unified communications services: Comprehensive unified communications solution hosted and managed from Orange Business Services datacenters to reduce costs. Services are available from all types of terminals. Administrators can allocate services as required and therefore adapt usage and costs to the precise needs of the company.

"Today's business alliance will make cloud computing a reachable reality for global enterprises, providing for our customers' security requirements and mitigating the complexity of technical migration. Orange Business Services has built its reputation catering to the global business needs of multinationals. With industry's top cloud players we will ease the migration for our enterprise customers," stated Vivek Badrinath, chief executive officer, Orange Business Services.

Equinix Builds Third Data Center in Tokyo

Equinix will build its third International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Tokyo, Japan. The new "TY3" will provide close physical proximity to the major financial exchanges in the Japanese capital. The $70 million, 79,600 gross-square-foot TY3 IBX data center, targeted for completion in mid-2011, will offer 960 cabinet equivalents to data centric industries including cloud and IT services providers, online content and financial market participants doing business in Japan. It will have direct fiber connectivity to Equinix's two other IBX data centers in the city, TY1 and TY2. Current and prospective customers will have direct access to more than 50 networks including both international and domestic carriers.

Alcatel-Lucent Files for Managed Services Patents

Alcatel-Lucent filed the first two of a series of patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) relating to Managed Services. The first covers an Operational Competency Center (OCC) methodology for delivering managed network operations services. The second patent filing describes a powerful new "Bottoms-Up" operations cost estimation methodology.

"It was amazing to see Alcatel-Lucent take an idea which had been floated and experimented within the industry and reach such a high level of maturity with it," said Andrew Chalmers, TM Forum Director of Training and IT Consultant. "The concept around the creation of the suite of services mirrors the thinking of TM Forum, but Alcatel-Lucent has actually put it into practice ahead of anyone else."

"The processes we have developed from the pre-contract through the actual services delivery stages show our commitment to excellence and ensure both clear visibility and top quality to our customers" said Andreas Herzog, Head of Alcatel-Lucent Managed Services. "With the help of Bell Labs, our processes are leading edge and protecting our intellectual property is a testament to that."

BlackBerry PlayBook Targets Professional Market

Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled its BlackBerry PlayBook tablet and BlackBerry Tablet OS, featuring a 7" display and a 1 GHz dual-core processor for symmetric multiprocessing. It includes dual HD cameras for video capture and video conferencing that can both record HD video at the same time, and an HDMI-out port.

Network interfaces were not specified, apart from Wi-Fi.

The BlackBerry PlayBook will offer pairing with a BlackBerry smartphone using a secure Bluetooth connection. This makes its possible to use the larger tablet display to seamlessly and securely view any of the email, BBM, calendar, tasks, documents and other content that resides on (or is accessible through) the smartphone.

RIM said its BlackBerry PlayBook is enterprise ready and compatible (out-of-the-box) with BlackBerry Enterprise Server. The BlackBerry Tablet OS is built upon the QNX Neutrino microkernel architecture, which the company touts for its stability and field hardened security.

Some specs:

  • 7" LCD display, 1024 x 600 screen resolution, multi-touch capacitive screen

  • 5.1" x 7.6" x 0.4" (130mm x 194mm x 10mm)

  • 0.9 lbs (400g)

  • Adobe Flash 10.1 enabled and support for HTML 5

  • 1 GHz dual-core processor

  • 1GB RAM

  • Built-in microUSB connector

  • 802.11 a/b/g/n

Commercial availability is expected in Q1 2011 in the U.S. and in Q2 2011 for other markets.

RIM also previewed its forthcoming BlackBerry Enterprise Application Middleware -- an application development platform that will enable commercial enterprise and corporate developers to more easily build "super app" enterprise applications and services for BlackBerry smartphones. IBM Interactive and customer ING DIRECT, Oracle, and SAP are in early trials.

Video over Wi-Fi: MIMO - 2X2, 3X3, or 4X4?

Presented by Dr. Behrooz Rezvani, Founder, Quantenna Communications

Quantenna Raises $21 Million for 802.11n 4x4 MIMO

Quantenna Communications, a start-up based in Fremont, California, raised $21 million in a Series E round of financing for its 4X4 MIMO 802.11n chipsets designed for next gen home networking applications. The funding was led by new investor DAG Ventures, with participation by each of the company's largest investors including Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners, Southern Cross, and Venrock Associates.

Quantenna leverages dynamic digital beamforming to deliver very high-speed wireless coverage throughout the whole home for sharing high definition (HD) video and multimedia content between home gateways and TVs. Quantenna's silicon is targeted at devices such as home residential gateways, set-top boxes, routers, HDTVs and consumer electronic devices, which all require high bandwidth and reliability to support whole home HD video distribution and networking over standard Wi-Fi networks.

Quantenna said the new funding will be used to help extend its global leadership position in 4x4 MIMO 802.11n Wi-Fi chipsets and accelerate product deployment through carriers and retail channels worldwide. Independent tests of 802.11n antenna configurations show that 4x4 MIMO delivers more than double the throughput of 3x3 MIMO throughput, anywhere in the home, at the near-zero packet error rate (PER) required for HDTV streaming.

"This record financing round for Quantenna is a testament to our growing traction in reliable Wi-Fi video service deployment through leading carriers and home networking vendors, as next-generation standards-based 802.11n 4x4 MIMO becomes the top choice for broadband video entertainment networking in the home," said David French, Quantenna's CEO. "In addition to supporting continued R&D advances, this funding will be used to execute product cost reductions as we accelerate high-volume mainstream deployment, and to expand our marketing, engineering and technical support resources as we rapidly increase our customer engagements, worldwide."
    In May 2010, 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. Its 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.

  • In February 2010, Quantenna Communications raised $15 million in a Series D round of financing for its 4X4 MIMO 802.11n chipsets designed for next gen home networking applications. This round of funding came from Grazia Equity, Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners, Southern Cross, Swisscom, and Venrock Associates.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

UAE's du Rolls out Dual-Carrier HSPA+ for 42 Mbps

du, which serves the United Arab Emirates, has rolled out dual-carrier HSPA+ service, offering top peak speeds of 42 Mbps. Technology partners for du's deployment include Huawei and Qualcomm. At launch, 98% of the populated areas in the UAE will enjoy coverage of the HSPA+ service. du expects to begin selling the first dual-carrier HSPA+ data modems soon.

"We recognize that mobile data is the new frontier, and we firmly believe that high-speed mobile data networks will be key enablers for the growth and future of our communities. We anticipate growth of new ecosystems and applications, which will trigger a lot of mobile data usage and traffic, and thus contribute significantly to the progress of the UAE. Customers can be assured that du will be the undisputed leader in the adoption and deployment of next- generation solutions, which will make life easier and better," stated Farid Faraidooni, Chief Commercial Officer, du.

PLX to Acquire Teranetics for 10GBASE-T Silicon

PLX Technology, a supplier of I/O interconnect silicon, agreed to acquire Teranetics, a start-up focused on 10GBASE-T silicon, for 7.4 million shares of PLX valued at approximately $27.6 million, cash of approximately $1.0 million and two promissory notes aggregating approximately $6.9 million. PLX will also assume or repay approximately $18 million of Teranetics corporate obligations, including indebtedness, transaction expenses incurred by Teranetics and cash bonuses payable to Teranetics employees.

Teranetics' silicon solutions enable 10 Gigabit Ethernet over low-cost CAT6 and CAT6a copper cabling. The products are aimed at 10GE switch ports and server adapters. The company was founded in 2003 and is based in San Jose, California.

PLX Technology, which is based in Sunnyvale, California, is a publicly traded company focused on PCI-based silicon solutions including PCI Express (PCIe). PLX entered the consumer and small office storage market with the 2009 acquisition of Oxford Semiconductor.

PLX Technology said it believes PCI Express and 10G Ethernet will coexist as complementary technologies in the data center. PLX will leverage its unique leadership position, technology and IP with these two dominant IOs to bring out new architectures for the data centers of tomorrow and to tap further into the $2 billion Ethernet semiconductor market. These future solutions can take advantage of both technologies while leveraging the company's superior switching fabrics, high-speed analog, and SoC capabilities to increase performance, lower power consumption and reduce overall system costs.
  • In April 2010, Teranetics introduced its third generation of 10GBASE-T PHYs implemented in 40nm technology. The small form factor and low power dissipation of the 40nm chips enable 10 GigE copper connections in high-density data center switches. They also pave the way for 10 GigE LAN-on-motherboard servers. The Teranetics TN8044 is a quad-port 10GBASE-T PHY device designed for high-density, highly power efficient 10 GigE switches. The TN8022 (dual-port) and TN8020 (single-port) offer the power-efficiency required to enable 10GBASE-T adapter card designs.

    Teranetics' new TN8000 family dissipates less than 4 watts per port at a full 100 meters, and as little as 2 watts per port in short reach mode. In addition, this third-generation, 40nm family continues Teranetics' support for triple rate Ethernet (100M/1G/10G). It will also offer support for the emerging Energy Efficient Ethernet standard (EEE, or IEEE 802.3az). Teranetics CTO and Chairman Sanjay Kasturia is the Editor in chief for the IEEE 802.3az committee developing the EEE standard.

    Teranetics noted that its technology further reduces the external component count required to build systems with 10GBASE-T ports. The TN8000 family allows multiple PHYs to share reference clocks and power regulators, and also integrates an EMI filter that previously was built with external components on the PC board. Moreover, MDI test capabilities reduce manufacturing costs by increasing equipment manufacturers' final yield and decreasing test time.

AT&T Declares Quarterly Dividend, Adds to Board

AT&T declared a quarterly dividend of $0.42 a share on the company's common shares. In addition, the company appointed Matthew K. Rose to its board of directors. Mr. Rose is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC (BNSF), a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Dept. of Justice Reaches Settlement with Silicon Valley Firms

The U.S. Department of Justice reached a settlement with six Silicon Valley firms -- Adobe Systems, Apple, Google, Intel, Intuit and Pixar -- that prevents them from entering into no solicitation agreements for employees. The department said that the agreements eliminated a significant form of competition to attract highly skilled employees, and overall diminished competition to the detriment of affected employees who were likely deprived of competitively important information and access to better job opportunities.

Ericsson Acquires Additional CDMA Assets from Nortel

Ericsson will acquire Nortel's Multi-Service Switch business (MSS), which includes CDMA-related R&D and services capabilities, for US$65 million in cash.

Ericsson said the acquisition gives it access to a strong product portfolio and installed base in the data segment while ensuring the supply of the MSS platform for the recently acquired CDMA and GSM units.

The announcement follows the completion of the auction process initiated by Nortel, and the transaction is subject to court approval and customary regulatory approvals.

"Today's announcement is further evidence of our commitment to our CDMA portfolio as we continue to strengthen our in-house R&D and services muscle to deliver on the innovation, collaboration and support that our customers have come to expect from us." said Rima Qureshi, senior vice president and head of business unit CDMA Mobile Systems.
  • In August, Nortel Networks announced plans to sell its Multi Service Switch business to private investors for US$39 million in cash. The deal includes Nortel's North America, Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) and Asia Multi Service Switch (MSS) business and the assets of the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) portion of its MSS business. The buyer is PSP Holding LLC, a special purpose entity to be fully funded at closing by Marlin Equity Partners and Canadian based Samnite Technologies Inc. Nortel's MSS business consists of its Data Packet Network and Shasta product groups and associated intellectual property.

  • In June 2010, Ericsson completed its acquisition of Nortel's majority shareholding (50%+1 share) in LG-Nortel, the joint venture of LG Electronics and Nortel Networks, for $242 million in cash. The deal significantly expands Ericsson's position in Korea, which is one of the 10 largest telecom markets in the world with advanced end-user demand for new services.

  • In March 2010, Ericsson completed its acquisition of Nortel's North American GSM business. The acquisition included the transfer of important GSM business with North American operators and further strengthened Ericsson's ability to serve North America's leading wireless operators. More than 350 employees from Nortel were involved. The deal was first announced in November 2009.

  • Also in November 2009, Ericsson completed its acquisition of substantially all of Nortel's CDMA business and LTE assets in North America. Under this deal, which was first announced on July 25, 2009, Ericsson paid US$1.13 billion. The acquisition included the transfer of important CDMA contracts with North American operators including Verizon, Sprint, U.S. Cellular, Bell Canada, Telus and Leap, as well as LTE assets, certain patents and patent licenses relating to CDMA and LTE. Approximately 2,500 Nortel employees in North America and China joined Ericsson under this transaction.

Italtel Announces Management Shift

Italtel announced the appointment of Umberto de Julio as its new Chairman, replacing Roberto Quarta; and the appointment of Stefano Pileri as its new CEO. Italtel also announced the approval of a 341 million euro bank financing and a 70 million euro capital increase. The capital increase of 70 million euro, which was supported by Telecom Italia and Cisco, is part of the debt re-financing scheme approved at the end of July by the pool of lending banks which includes Unicredit, BPM, GE Interbanca, Banco Popolare and UBI.

Vodafone Global Enterprise Opens in Singapore

Vodafone Global Enterprise has opened a new Regional Office in Singapore in a bid to further enhance the delivery of managed communications services to multinationals in Asia Pacific. The company said its new Singapore office will complement its existing presence in the Indian, Australian, Japanese, New Zealand and Hong Kong markets to provide unparalleled coverage and service levels in the Asia Pacific area. Vodafone Global Enterprise noted that its customer base already includes 140 multinational corporations that are headquartered in Asia, and an additional 435 global customers have operations in Singapore or its neighboring countries.

Extension Planned for Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) Cable

Less than one year after the inauguration of the LION submarine cable (Lower Indian Ocean Network) linking Madagascar to the rest of the world via Réunion Island and Mauritius, an agreement was reached to build a 3,000-km extension to Kenya via the island of Mayotte. The project is being conducted by a consortium of France Telecom-Orange and its subsidiaries Mauritius Telecom Ltd, Orange Madagascar and Telkom Kenya Ltd, along with carrier companies Emtel Ltd., Société Réunionnaise du Radiotéléphone and STOI Internet.

Mayotte is an overseas collectivity of France with a population of about 195,000. The cable will give the island and its neighbors broadband access to the Internet for the first time.

The construction is expected to cost EUR 56.5 million euros, about EUR 31.25 million which will come from France Telecom SA. Service is scheduled to begin in the first half of 2012.

Video: Silicon MEMS Timing Replaces Quartz

Presented by Aaron Partridge, SiTime's CSO

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Verizon's Seidenberg: Rapid Mobile Growth, OTT Threatens Cable TV

The mobile industry has entered a period of rapid innovation with step-function growth in services and revenues, said Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's Chairman and CEO, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia XIX Conference.
Seidenberg expects the smartphone penetration rate in the U.S. to rise to 70% by 2015. Meanwhile, the overall mobile penetration rate with pass 100% as more people carry 2 or more connected-devices wherever they go. Seidenberg expects these trends to impact all segments of the consumer and business markets. He believes Verizon is well-positioned for this period of bullish growth.

Regarding the iPhone, Seidenberg said he would welcome it, but that the Droid is proving to be a great alternative and that the company is not suffering from an "iPhone deficit". He expects the upcoming 4G launch will be a great platform for manufactures to launch a new range tablets and phones.

As for 4G pricing tiers, Seidenberg agrees with AT&T's move to tiered data plans, but that Verizon's LTE network provides it with the ability to offer unique plans. Key advantages that he sees are Verizon's 700 MHz spectrum and a rapid rollout that will give national coverage over the next 24 months.

Seidenberg also predicted rapid change in the multichannel video market. He expects the cable operators are facing a downward trend as "cord cutters", especially the younger demographics, give up pricey monthly cable bills in favor of over-the-top content. He does expect a steady, paid TV client base in many segments especially for high-end 3D TV. However, he believes but that the OTT trend will impact the cable business much like how traditional voice service were hit mobile and VoIP substitution. He thinks Verizon is better positioned than its cable peers because the FiOS network is built to handle high data rates for carrying IP traffic and because the company's newer FiOS TV subscriber base has lower exposure in the market. He would like to see both the FiOS and 4G networks take advantage of these new content models.

FCC Bolsters E-rate Program

Following recommendations of the National Broadband Plan, the FCC upgraded and modernized the E-rate program, which funds Internet access in public schools and libraries across the country.

Although 97% of American schools and nearly all public libraries now have basic Internet access, the basic level of broadband connectivity is now too slow to keep up with traffic demands.

The FCC said its E-rate Order makes it easier for schools and libraries to get the highest speeds for the lowest prices by increasing their options for broadband providers and streamlining the application process.

Key elements of the new E-rate include:

Super-Fast Fiber: Participants may use E-rate funds to connect in the most cost-effective way possible, including via unused fiber optic lines already in place across the country and through existing state, regional and local networks.

School Spots: The FCC is opening the door to "School Spots" -- where schools have the option to provide Internet access to the local community after students go home. For instance, schools with 1 Gbps fiber access could help neighborhoods that otherwise lack such access. The FCC sees the School Spots as a major step toward the National Broadband Plan's goal of connecting an anchor institution in every community.

Learning On-the-Go: The FCC is launching a pilot program that supports off-campus wireless Internet connectivity for mobile learning devices. Education doesn't stop at the schoolyard gate or the library door. Digital textbooks and other innovative wireless devices allow students to learn in a real-world context, inside the classroom and beyond. Because of their low cost and accessibility, these mobile devices can also help advance digital equality, particularly for children from economically disadvantaged communities.

21st Century E-rate Program: The Order will begin indexing the cap on E-rate funding to inflation in a fiscally responsible manner, so that the program can more fully meet the needs of students and communities. Since 1997 when the E-rate program started, inflation has raised costs 30 percent but the program has remained capped, significantly decreasing its effective purchasing power. E-rate can also now be used for connections to the dormitories of schools that serve students facing unique challenges, such as Tribal schools or schools for children with physical, cognitive, or behavioral disabilities.

In addition, the FCC will codifying E-rate competitive bidding requirements and clarifying ethics obligations so as to stop waste, fraud, and abuse. It also promises to streamline the E-rate application process for educators and librarians.