Monday, June 28, 2010

MobileAccess Teams With Cisco on Wi-Fi + Cellular Solution

MobileAccess, which supplies enterprise wireless solutions, is working with Cisco to deliver a solution that enables reliable, in-building cellular coverage over an organization's existing LAN infrastructure.

The solution integrates MobileAccessVE with the Cisco Unified Wireless Network by sending cellular RF signals over CAT-5/6 Ethernet LAN infrastructure for 2G, 3G and 4G services, without affecting wired or wireless LAN traffic. This approach lets enterprises maximize the ROI on existing network investments by using their LAN to deliver cellular connectivity. The joint solution is being deployed by MIT.

MobileAccess is headquartered in Vienna, Virginia.

Ericsson's Acquisition of Nortel's stake of LG-Nortel Completed

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.

The joint venture, which was established in 2005 through the contribution by LG Electronics of its telecommunications systems business and by Nortel of its Korean distribution business, focuses on large scale telecommunications systems such as WCDMA, CDMA and LTE for telecom service providers in Korea as well as enterprise products and services. In 2009, LG-Nortel generated approximately USD 650 million of sales and had 1,300 employees. The joint venture includes important contracts with Korean operators such as KT, LG Telecom and SK Telecom.

EC: Roaming Prices Falling but Competition Still Not strong

The cap on the maximum price consumers in the European Union pay for roamed voice calls fell from €0.46 to €0.43 per minute (excluding VAT) as of 1 July 2009 and will decrease further to €0.39 per minute as of 1 July 2010. The capped-price of a text message fell by almost 60% to €0.11 as of 1 July 2009. The prices that operators charge each other for data roaming will drop from €1 to €0.80 per MegaByte uploaded or downloaded as of July 2010.

The European Commission credits its legislation in part for the lower prices but said that strong competition has yet to emerge to drive prices lower. In the Commission's view, EU rules give operators plenty of margin to offer more attractive roaming tariffs below the regulatory limits. Ultimately the difference between roaming and national tariffs should approach zero by 2015, in line with the objectives of the Digital Agenda for Europe

Google Sees Data Center Efficiency in 40 Gbps InfiniBand

Network engineers from Google have proposed an energy proportional data center based on a unique Butterfly Topology architecture built with 40 Gbps InfiniBand switches and adapters. The proposal was made during a recent presentation at the ACM IEEE International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) and a related paper on the topic has been posted online.

The Google paper proposes several ways to design a high-performance datacenter network whose power consumption is more proportional to the amount of traffic it is moving. The authors find that a flattened butterfly topology itself is inherently more power efficient than the other commonly proposed topologies.

Mellanox Technologies, which supplies InfiniBand solutions, said the proposal for a high-performance enterprise data center built on InfiniBand is a logical step for this technology.

Pareto Launches Cloud-based Branch Office Networking Service

Pareto Networks, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California unveiled a cloud-based service aimed at simplifying branch office network deployment and operations.

Pareto's service uses a low-cost CPE device to securely tunnel all branch office traffic to its hosted platform in the cloud, where security and management policies are enforced. The solution eliminates the various firewall, IPS, routing and other appliances typically deployed at each branch office. The cloud-based application provides centralized control over an enterprises network and security policies, and provides visibility of critical network performance metrics across all branch offices that are enabled with the service. Enterprise data centers would also be tied into the Pareto cloud by means of a separate appliance.

Pareto's fully redundant cloud services platform is distributed globally with multiple data centers across the U.S., as well as in Europe and Singapore. Pareto also provides military-grade encryption and multiple layers of its own security to further guarantee the availability, dependability and integrity of the distributed network.

Pareto is offering an annual subscription starting at $228 per site, which includes all hardware, support, maintenance and future feature upgrades.

The company said a key advantage of its solution is that a branch office network can be set-up in minutes. Pareto customers can link other network and security applications to their distributed network via Pareto Cloud Services.

Pareto has also formed partnerships with other cloud-based security-as-a service operator, including OpenDNS, VeriSign and McAfee.
  • Pareto Networks was founded by Matthew Palmer (CEO) and Carl Mower (VP of Engineering). Until September 2007, Palmer was Vice President of Enterprise Planning and Operations at Juniper Networks. Matt came to Juniper via the Netscreen acquisition in 2004. Mower previously worked at DuPont, Digital, Cabletron, Nortel, SmartPipes, Symbol, and Blue Coat.

Alcatel-Lucent acquires ProgrammableWeb, Extending its Application Enablement Strategy

Alcatel-Lucent has acquired ProgrammableWeb, a leading online repository for Web APIs (application programming interfaces) used by application developers to build web, mobile, and other connected applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ProgrammableWeb maintains a its repository of over 2,000 Web APIs which are regularly accessed by a community of hundreds of thousands of developers. The APIs and mash-ups available for download from the site extend across a wide range of possible applications, such as search result APIs, GoogleMap mash-ups, messaging APIs, etc.

Alcatel-Lucent said its acquisition of ProgrammableWeb will help bring together an ecosystem of service providers, enterprises, and developers to drive the creation of unique applications today and in the new world of broadband mobile through LTE. The acquisition opens an important new channel to partner with the Web developer community -- a dialog it has started with its Open API Service and Developer Platform. It also gives Alcatel-Lucent access to general API usage patterns, allowing it to build highly relevant API bundles for its Open API Service.

ProgrammableWeb's API monitoring services, API trial services, and automated API updates will be integrated into Alcatel-Lucent's Developer Platform. In addition, Alcatel-Lucent will be able to share its developer resources, such as its dashboard that helps developers track application monetization, with ProgrammableWeb's developer community.

"If you look at any organization that launches an API, you quickly realize that the one thing the most successful APIs have in common is a vibrant developer ecosystem," said Laura Merling, vice president of Alcatel-Lucent's global developer strategy. "Our goal is to protect the uniqueness and independence of ProgrammableWeb as an API repository and developer resource, while adding beneficial technologies and service provider relationships to the mix for everyone's benefit."
  • In March 2010, Alcatel-Lucent released its first API (Application Programming Interfaces) bundles that blend service provider and third party application capabilities to enable the faster creation of new applications. Alcatel-Lucent's goal with these API bundles is to enable a new revenue share model to transform service provider networks into an application development platform by unlocking network resources and functionality -- similar to what smartphones and apps stores did for the device world.

    The company's first vertical API bundles include three social bundles supporting the creation of new mashups in social gaming, advertising and virtual goods markets. Collectively, the APIs included are SMS, advertising, location, virtual goods, credit card and billing. The initial delivery of these API bundles targets the 14+ million developers worldwide and the two fastest growing and increasingly profitable applications markets today: mobile advertising and virtual goods.

    Earlier this year, Alcatel-Lucent introduced its cloud-based developer platform, which leverages the Application Exposure Suite to build, test, manage and distribute applications across networks, including television, broadband Internet and mobile.

    With the release of the APIs, Alcatel-Lucent also announced a new business and application modeling tool that allows developers to get the most out of their applications. This new functionality helps developers and service providers improve the potential for the success of services they are introducing and helps them better manage the overall business of their applications.

    "The business model benefits everyone across the value chain. Whereas service providers did not share in an application's revenue before, they now gain new sources of revenue from ad network or virtual goods applications. They can invest that income back into their network, which in turn supports new services innovation," said Johnson Agogbua, head of Application Enablement solutions for Alcatel-Lucent.

Cisco Unveils Energy Management Tools for Utilities, Consumers, Businesses

Cisco introduced a Home Energy Management Solution that features a Home Energy Controller along with Cisco Energy Management Services that, when provided by utilities to their customers, are designed to help consumers securely and reliably gain insight into, and easier control over, their energy use.

The Cisco Home Energy Controller (CGH-100) is a countertop touch screen display that tracks and controls real-time household, historic and individual appliance consumption. Devices that communicate with the Home Energy Controller could include thermostats, intelligent sockets and, ultimately, smart appliances like refrigerators and water heaters. The Home Energy Controller coordinates the variety of networks in the home and supports associated networking protocols, such as ZigBee, Wi-Fi and Encoder Receiver Technology (ERT.

On the network side, Cisco is launching hosted Energy Management Services, which utilities can use to manage data from thousands of homes while integrating with their back-end applications. These complement Cisco's existing service offerings to help utilities plan, build and run a converged communications infrastructure for automating the Connected Grid. Cisco cited an initial deployment with Duke Energy, with which Cisco has a strategic collaboration to advance Smart Grid technology.

In addition, Cisco announced key updates to its Smart Connected Buildings portfolio, including the new Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300, which enables centralized management of Smart Connected Buildings across global enterprise operations, and the new Cisco Network Building Mediator 3.1, which provides the platform for linking multiple disparate building automation systems and protocols over Internet Protocol and for allowing greater integration and visibility of energy flows across real estate and information technology.

Mexican Students Win Cisco's $250K Global I-Prize Innovation Prize

A team of five university students from Mexico were awarded Cisco's second I-Prize competition, an open, global innovation contest developed to encourage collaboration among entrepreneurs and help identify new potential billion-dollar business ideas for Cisco. The winners receive a cash prize of $250,000.

The students from Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) developed the concept of a "Life Account" that combines social networking with the "Internet of Things" to help bridge user activities in the physical and virtual world to create one view of the users "life".

Avaya and HP Expand Enterprise Collaboration

As part of a three-year strategic agreement, Avaya and HP are adding elements of Avaya's Unified Communications and Contact Center products to the HP Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) services portfolio for enterprises. This solution set is to be sold and delivered by HP. Specifically, HP is offering Avaya Aura Unified Communications architecture and applications, Avaya Contact Center applications and Avaya's range of end-user client applications and endpoints as part of HP UC&C Lifecycle Services.

Hulu Plus Priced at $9.99 per Month

Hulu unveiled plans to offer an ad-supported subscription Internet TV streaming service that aggregates content from more than 100 providers across broadcast networks, major studios and independent content creators.
Hulu Plus will offer full current season runs of hit TV programs from ABC, FOX and NBC across multiple Web-connected devices, in HD, for $9.99 a month.

The content will be viewable on PCs and Macs as well as on Apple's iPad and iPhone, and select 2010 Samsung Blu-ray players, Blu-ray Home Theater systems, and TVs through Samsung Apps, in up to 720p high-definition resolution. Hulu Plus will also be coming soon to the PlayStation3 (PS3) computer entertainment system.

Cisco Debuts Android Business Collaboration Tablet

Cisco introduced a mobile collaboration business tablet that runs its Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including HD video.

Cisco Cius is an Android-based tablet designed for full telepresence interoperability, HD video streaming and real-time video, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, browsing, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud.

Some highlights:

  • The tablet is offered with an optional HD audio station equipped with a telephone handset speakerphone, HD DisplayPort and USB ports.

  • The tablet features a front-mounted 720p HD camera at 30 frames per second; a seven inch, high-resolution widescreen super VGA touch-target display for real-time and streamed video, and single-button TelePresence interoperability.

  • The tablet has a 5-megapixel rear facing camera that can transmit streaming VGA quality video and capture still images, and dual noise-canceling microphones for audio conferencing.

  • An on-board accelerometer readily orients applications for viewing in portrait or landscape modes

  • Support for 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi for enterprise campus mobility and 3G cellular services when off-campus. 4G services will be available at a later date. Bluetooth and Micro-USB means users can work untethered and share data with a PC.

  • A detachable and serviceable battery offers eight hours life under normal usage.

  • Integration with the suite of Cisco collaboration applications including Cisco Quad, Cisco Show and Share, Cisco WebEx Connect, Cisco WebEx Meeting Center, Cisco Presence, and interoperability with Cisco TelePresence.

  • Cisco Cius is supported by Cisco Unified Communications Manager.