Monday, June 21, 2010

Google Voice Hits One Million Users

A little over one year since debuting a limited beta version, Google officially released its voice application "for everyone" in the U.S. The sign-up page is now open to general public. Google said it already has over a million users of Google Voice. The company highlighted the number of new features added in the past months, include a mobile app, an integrated voicemail player in Gmail, the ability to use Google Voice with your existing number, the ability to send SMS to multiple recipients, etc.

Google Voice, which is based on the GrandCentral service that Google acquired in July 2007, provides the user with a single phone number that will ring your home, work, and mobile phones, a central voicemail inbox that you could access on the web, and the ability to screen calls by listening in live as callers leave a voicemail. Google Voice is initially available only to users of the preceding GrandCentral service, but the company plans to release the application to the general public in the coming weeks.

Cubic Acquires Safe Harbor for CyberSecurity

Cubic Defense Applications has acquired Safe Harbor Holdings, a Vienna, Virginia-based supplier of customized hardware and software for cyber solutions.

Safe Harbor provides specialized cyber security and networking infrastructure solutions, including systems design, cross-domain product development and deployment, enterprise network architecture and engineering, access controls, and common cross-domain framework solutions comprised of multilevel controlled interfaces. The firm has approximately 30 cyber security engineers and professionals located in the Northern Virginia area and serving specialized intelligence and defense clients.

AT&T Adds 1.6 Million Rural Customers from Verizon Wireless

AT&T completed its previously announced $2.85 billion acquisition of wireless assets from Verizon Wireless that were divested as part of the Alltel deal. The transaction primarily represents former Alltel assets, but it also includes assets from Verizon Wireless and the former Rural Cellular Corporation. This enhances AT&T's wireless network coverage in primarily rural areas across 18 states. Once network transition work is completed, AT&T will add approximately 1.6 million subscribers to its mobile network. AT&T expects to roll out its 3G service to all of the acquired properties.

TeliaSonera Deploys NSN for LTE in Gothenburg

Telia is deploying Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio Base Station for its upcoming launch of 4G/LTE services in Gothenburg, Sweden. Under the two-year radio network contract, Nokia Siemens Networks is supplying its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and its NetAct network management system to monitor, manage and optimize the operator's network. Services including network planning, integration and optimization as well as a full range of care services are part of the overall offering.

"The demand for ultra high-speed mobile broadband is significantly increasing in Sweden, and after TeliaSonera´s world premiere last year with 4G services, we are now continuing a fast roll out in Sweden. Nokia Siemens Networks, as one of two LTE vendors, is now providing the radio network in Sweden's second largest city," said Erik Hallberg, senior vice president and head of Mobility Services Sweden in TeliaSonera.
  • In March 2010, TeliaSonera, which activated the first commercial LTE service in the world in December 2009, announced the next step in its next-generation mobile broadband roll-out. The company is upgrading base stations to 100 Mbps, beginning with sites in central Stockholm and extending to the rest of the network in Spring. The upgraded backhaul will enable downlink speeds of up to 80 Mbps to customers in optimal locations. Telia's 4G network is currently installed in the central parts of Stockholm and in parts of the Stockholm International, Kista and Hammarby Sjöstad. Telia plans to build out 4G in 25 locations in Sweden. During the third quarter of this year, the 4G network will be launched in Lund, Västerås, Malmö, Gothenburg, Uppsala and Linköping.

Saudi Arabia's Baud Telecom Picks DragonWave

Saudi Arabia's Baud Telecom Company (BTC Networks) has selected DragonWave as its "vendor of choice" for wireless, last-mile enterprise access. One of BTC Networks' valuable customers, Etihad Atheeb Telecom Company "GO", is expanding its footprint across Saudi Arabia by deploying DragonWave's Horizon Compact to flexibly support low-latency business services of varying speeds up to 400 Mbps. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Spread Networks Delivers 13.3ms Latency for NYC-Chicago Trading

Spread Networks, a new a privately owned telecommunications provider, launched a dark fiber private network optimized for financial trading between New York City and Chicago. The network, which operates along a completely new 825 mile route, reduces round-trip latency to 13.33 milliseconds. Most connections between these financial centers have operated along railroad rights of way that avoided mountainous construction ducts in central Pennsylvania.

Spread Networks is headed by Jim Barksdale (Chairman), who also is Chairman and President of Barksdale Management Corporation and former CEO of Netscape and AT&T Wireless, and David Barksdale (CEO). Its technical team includes Michael Strickland (Senior Vice President, Technology and Engineering), who previously was Director of Network Architecture, Engineering and Deployment at Level 3.

Spread Networks cited several network equipment partners, including ADVA Optical Networking, Ciena, Infinera and JDSU. ADVA confirmed that its FSP 3000 WDM low-latency optical transport solution has been certified by Spread Networks and is achieving speeds of 13.33 milliseconds on the New York-Chicago route. Infinera also noted that its optical networking solution is designed to reduce the equipment drag on Spread's dark fiber by more than 80%, when compared to conventional DWDM solutions, thanks to new technical innovations ultra-fast transponders , latency-optimized optical amplifiers, low latency FBG dispersion compensation, and its flexible Forward Error Correction (FEC) modes.

London Grid for Learning Upgrades with Juniper

London Grid for Learning (LGfL), which handles ICT operations for all 2,600 primary and secondary schools in greater London, has upgraded its data center network with a high-performance infrastructure from Juniper, including routing, switching and security solutions. The upgraded network enables LGfL to provide bandwidth-rich multimedia teaching and learning services, including videoconferencing with museums and specialist learning centers; content streaming; and online managed learning resources.

LGfL has deployed Juniper Networks MX Series Universal Edge Routers for the core and distribution layer of its network, with Advanced Routing, MPLS, QoS and Multicast capabilities. Juniper Networks J Series Services Routers standardize service delivery at the network edge. Additionally, Juniper Networks EX Series Ethernet Switches with Virtual Chassis fabric technology eliminate the need for an aggregation layer -- a primary source of complexity in data center networks -- providing LGfL with Ethernet aggregation in the distribution layer to create flexible carrier-class level connectivity in LGfL's data center. Juniper Networks SRX Series Services Gateways are also deployed at the network's core to provide security.

LGfL's metro network is 100 percent optic fiber and 100 percent Ethernet. The network is also the backbone of the London Public Services Network (LPSN), which ensures reliable information sharing between the capital's 33 local authorities.

Deltenna Offers 3G Multi-beam Antenna Extender

UK-based Deltenna introduced its WiBE (Wireless Broadband Enabler) -- a small modem that uses multi-beam antenna technology to extend the range and throughput of a 3G signal. The multi-beam antenna system scans then and selects the link offering the best data connection while rejecting interfering signals from other base stations. The company claims that in areas of weak signal it delivers a data throughput 30-times greater than a conventional 3G USB modem dongle. Deltenna said the connection range is up to five-times that of the 3G dongle. The WiBE also offers an 802.11bgn WiFi router to distribute the signal within the home. The company is also working on an LTE version.

Sprint Launches 3G/4G USB Modem from Sierra Wireless

Sprint released a new 3G/4G USB 250U mobile broadband modem from Sierra Wireless. Sprint 3G/4G USB 250U is available now through Business Direct and Business Solutions Partners followed by full channel availability by mid-July. Customers can purchase Sprint 3G/4G USB 250U from Sprint for free (excluding taxes) after a $50 mail-in-rebate, a $49.99 instant savings and with a two-year service agreement on a new line activation or eligible upgrade. Sprint's 3G/4G Mobile Broadband Connection plan is priced at $59.99 per month for unlimited use on the Sprint 4G Network and 5 GB of data on the Sprint 3G Network (price plans exclude surcharges and taxes).

Global Crossing Offers Limelight SITE Acceleration Service

Global Crossing has added the latest version of Limelight Networks' SITE service to Content Delivery Network (CDN) portfolio. Limelight SITE is a web acceleration solution that delivers all the static and dynamic elements -- such as JavaScript objects, style sheets, rich media, or personalization elements. The latest release offers added control over cache management, Secure Sockets Layer support, increased failover options, and integrated content security options.

GENBAND Unveils ATCA-based Genius Platform

Following its recent acquisition of Nortel's CVAS business, GENBAND outlined its vision and roadmap for next generation and IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) networks. The product set is focused on IP multimedia applications, switching and security solutions based on open, standards-based architectures.

Key elements of the product portfolio include:

GENBAND GENiUS Platform -- Described as a cornerstone of the roadmap, the all-IP ATCA "GENiUS" will encompass GENBAND's application, call control, session border and security product lines. The GENBAND GENiUS platform will incorporate high-performance, high-density computing hardware and sophisticated Service Availability Forum (SAF) compliant middleware.

GENBAND A-Series Applications Portfolio -- will encompass a wide range of applications, from Messaging and Collaboration to Business Services and Cloud-based communication capabilities as well as third-party applications via open interfaces. GENBAND will feature the Adaptive Application Engine or A2E and the Wireless Call Continuity platform or WMG 6000 acquired from Nortel. This suite of application products is hardware-independent and can also leverage the GENBAND GENiUS ATCA platform strategy.

GENBAND C-Series Call Control Portfolio -- includes the C3 platform as well as Nortel's softswitch platforms, the CS 1500 and the CS 2000. Moving forward, the CS 1500 will be known as the C15. Leveraging the GENBAND GENiUS ATCA platform, GENBAND will also offer a C20 model with a greatly-reduced footprint, higher capacity, a broadened feature-set and simplified installation and turn-up compared to its CS 2000 predecessor. For IMS networks, the CS 2000, C20 and C15 will support both Access and Media Gateway Control Functions (AGCF / MGCF) while the C3 will support Media Gateway Control Functions (MGCF).

GENBAND G-Series Gateway Portfolio -- includes the G2 and G6 Universal Gateways, the G9 Converged Gateway as well as the former Nortel CVAS MG 9000 and MG 15000 media gateways. GENBAND's G2 and G6 access and trunking media gateways groom and consolidate TDM lines and implement a unique packet line gateway function. GENBAND's flagship G9 Converged Gateway supports fixed, wireless and emerging solutions such as IMS voice and video transcoding as well as Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC). The G9 product roadmap includes integrated session border control, video and enhancements to its high-definition voice functionality.

GENBAND S-Series Session Border Controller (SBC) Portfolio -- includes the S3 and S9 as well as the SR3 Session Router. The S9 SBC is based on the GENBAND GENiUS ATCA architecture. The S2 Security Gateway is a key building block of FMC solutions such as Femtocells, and WiFi-based Mobile Data Offload and Coverage solutions.

"GENBAND continues to introduce innovative IP solutions and services that cost-effectively simplify and advance our customers' networks," said Charlie Vogt, President and CEO of GENBAND. "We now possess a powerful combination of technology leadership, service capabilities, financial strength and global scale, enabling GENBAND to provide end-to-end, turn-key IP solutions that fulfill the most demanding expectations from our customers and business partners. The roadmap unveiled today clearly reflects our unparalleled focus on operator requirements and our commitment to both simplify and fuel next generation and IMS networks."
  • In May 2010, 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.

TIA Schedules "Inside the Network" Event for May 2011 in Dallas

Telecommunications Industry Association announced "TIA 2011: Inside the Network" -- a major conference and exhibition scheduled for May 18-20, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.

"The challenge facing those Inside the Network," said TIA President Grant Seiffert, "is how telecommunications service providers and equipment vendors will continue to innovate in response to the onslaught of demand for high-bandwidth applications that are stressing network infrastructure capacity. TIA's new industry event is a meeting, technology demonstration and educational platform designed to help members flourish and remain competitive."

The venue is the Gaylord Texan, which is near the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport.
  • In February 2010, TIA and USTelecom canceled their jointly-owned SUPERCOMM tradeshow for 2010. The event had been scheduled for October 26-28 in Chicago.

Reports: FCC Meets with Telecom Lobbyists

The Wall Street Journal reported that senior staff at the FCC has held closed-door meetings on Net Neutrality with lobbyists representing the largest telecom operators as well as Google, Skype and others.
  • Earlier this month, the FCC voted 3-to-2 to open a new proceeding to identify the legal approach it should follow in regulating broadband. Specifically, the Notice of Inquiry called for public input to the challenge created by the Comcast court case. Options include pursuing a Title I regulatory path, a full Title II path, and a middle-ground solution -- the Third Way approach proposed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.