Monday, July 19, 2010

FCC Finds 14-24 Million Americans Lack Access to Broadband

In its newly issued Sixth Broadband Deployment Report, the FCC has found that between 14 and 24 million Americans still lack access to broadband, and the immediate prospects for deployment to them are bleak. Many of these Americans are poor or live in rural areas that will remain unserved without reform of the universal service program and other changes to U.S. broadband policy that spur investment in broadband networks by lowering the cost of deployment.

The FCC said its report underscores the need for comprehensive reform of the Universal Service Fund, innovative
approaches to unleashing new spectrum, and removal of barriers to infrastructure investment.

The report also takes the long-overdue step of updating a key standard -- speed -- used to determine whether households are served by broadband. It upgrades the standard from 200 kbps downstream, a standard set over a decade ago when web pages were largely text-based, to 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream.

"On Congress's question of universality--whether all Americans are on track to being served--the best available data shows that between 14 and 24 million Americans live in areas where they cannot get broadband. These are mostly expensive-to-serve areas with low population density. Without substantial reforms to the agency's universal service programs, these areas will continue to be unserved, denied access to the transformative power of broadband," stated FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

NTELOS to Acquire FiberNet for $170 Million

NTELOS will acquire One Communications' FiberNet business for approximately $170 million in cash.

The FiberNet fiber optic network of approximately 3,500 route miles covers all of West Virginia and extends into surrounding areas in Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Kentucky. FiberNet service revenues and adjusted EBITDA for 2009 were approximately $76 million and $25 million, respectively. Capital expenditures for 2009 were approximately $13 million.

nTelos is a provider of wireless and wireline communications services to consumers and businesses in Virginia and West Virginia.

"The FiberNet purchase is another significant step for NTELOS as we continue to position our wireline business as the preferred provider of high-bandwidth data products in the Mid-Atlantic region," said Frank L. Berry, NTELOS executive vice president and president of wireline operations. "In addition to immediate financial contributions from the embedded customer base, this acquisition will provide NTELOS with new opportunities within our core business of providing high bandwidth services to large enterprises, government customers and carriers. Consistent with our strategic growth vision, by increasing FiberNet's customer penetration and usage across our service area, we will further leverage operational and back office platforms already in place."

China's FiberHome Selects Siverge for Packet Transport Chip

FiberHome Communications, a leading Chinese supplier of telecommunications equipment and network solutions, has selected Siverge Networks' Griffin chipset for use in a packet transport and wireless backhauling platform.

Siverge's Griffin product family provides a Packet/TDM-on-a-Chip solution that can be used for a Universal Gateway Line Card. Siverge's processors supports the full range of layer 1 and 2 protocols including HDLC, PPP, ATM, IMA, MLPPP, MLFR, LAPS, GFP, VCAT, LCAS and mapping Packet over SONET/SDH (PoS), Ethernet over PDH (EoPDH) and Ethernet over SONET/SDH (EoS).

"The unique option of using a wide range of speed and functionality for different systems, along with a single unified hardware design, provides FiberHome unparalleled time-to-market for customer deployments," said Nimrod Gindi, vice president of sales for EMEA & APAC at Siverge Networks. "FiberHome Technologies is known internationally for its compliance to international quality standards and excellence in engineering services. The partnership between Siverge and FiberHome continues this leadership for next generation networks."
  • In March 2010, Siverge Networks announced that its flagship "Griffin" chip had been selected by ZTE for use in multi-service and wireless backhauling products. The Griffin family of chip solutions collapses multiple systems into a single multi-service card, performing transport and aggregation functions needed to create a bridge between legacy systems and new services and networks.

Nigeria's Gateway Business Deploys Cisco MPLS

Gateway Business, a Vodacom Group company, has selected Cisco for a national MPLS network. Gateway Business is rolling out wireless broadband services across 36 different states in 2010 and 2011.

Gateway Communications, the groups Carrier Services and Wholesale division, is also an investor in the West Africa Cable System (WACS), which will bring additional capacity in to Nigeria by June 2011. Through this agreement with Cisco, Gateway will be able to immediately deploy a range of new services for customers in Nigeria, West Africa, and across the African continent.

Taiwan's Far EasTone selects Alcatel-Lucent's Carrier Ethernet

Far EasTone Telecommunications (FET), a major telecom operator in Taiwan, has selected Alcatel-Lucent for an IP network transformation that will converge its exiting metro network with IP/MPLS-based Carrier Ethernet infrastructure. Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will supply FET with a Carrier Ethernet solution that includes its 7750 Service Router, 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR), 7210 Service Access Switch (SAS) and 5620 Service Aware Manager. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide surround services and expertise in the areas such as project management, consulting and design, integration services, installation, deployment and maintenance. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Bivio Networks Enters Japanese Information Leakage Project

Bivio Networks supplied its deep packet inspection (DPI) platform for an information leak prevention research project commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC). Hitachi served as the representative research center and the project lead on behalf of MIC.

Japan's MIC commissioned the information leakage research project in January 2010 to study network information transfers initiated by P2P file-sharing software such as Winny. The project's scope included the development of an engine and networking solution to detect and extract only the P2P file-sharing software from traffic. The project studied the hardware feasibility of such a networking system, the development of technology for traffic control, and completion of a large-scale field trial to verify the system.

Bivio Networks said P2P file-sharing software is often a primary driver of information leakage, which has become a serious concern for individuals, companies and government organizations alike.

The Hitachi Systems Development Laboratory oversaw the entire project's design and management, including the development of the technology to detect P2P software-initiated communications. Hitachi conducted the large-scale field trial of the system, using the large-scale Internet simulator provided by the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology's Hokuriku Research Center.

At the project's outset, seven types of P2P file-sharing software -- Winny, LimeWire, WinMX, BitTorrent, Share, Perfect Dark, and Winnyp -- were selected based on research indicating that they jointly controlled more than 90% of the P2P file-sharing software market. Then, the detection module for the software was deployed on the Bivio DPI Application Platform, which was connected to the controlling devices.

The January 2010 trial achieved the target performance of 10 Gbps. Moreover, with two interconnected Bivio DPI Application Platforms, traffic processing speed reached 20 Gbps.

Bivio said its DPI Application Platform and software detection module achieved a detection rate between 98.87% and 100% of P2P file-sharing software communications. In addition, the system demonstrated a zero percent error rate in discriminating between non-P2P and P2P communications.

Juniper Posts Q2 Revenue of $978 Million, up 24% YoY

Juniper Networks reported Q2 2010 revenue of $978.3 million, up 24% year-over-year. Net income (GAAP) was $130.5 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, and non-GAAP net income of $164.0 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2010.

Juniper's operating margin for the second quarter of 2010 increased to 18.9% on a GAAP basis from 17.6% in the first quarter of 2010, and increased from 12.2% in the prior year second quarter. Non-GAAP operating margin for the second quarter of 2010 increased to 23.9% from 23.2% in the first quarter of 2010 and increased from 18.1% in the prior year second quarter.

Juniper generated net cash from operations for the second quarter of 2010 of $221.3 million, compared to net cash provided by operations of $88.5 million, after litigation settlement payments of $169.3 million, in the first quarter of 2010.

"Juniper continues to execute well on our growth agenda consistent with our 2010 operating principles," said Kevin Johnson, Juniper's Chief Executive Officer. "With an expanding product portfolio and strong momentum in critical growth areas of high performance networking, we feel confident in our view of growth for the second half of 2010."

Ethernet Alliance Plans 802.3ba 40 an 100 Gbps Interoperability Test

The Ethernet Alliance Higher Speed Ethernet Subcommittee (HSE) will host an IEEE 802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps interoperability test event on September 13 in Santa Clara, California at Ixia's iSimCity lab.

The Ethernet Alliance invites both members and non-members to participate in this first 40G and 100G Ethernet interoperability test event for equipment designed to the IEEE 802.3ba standard. The goal of the event will be to perform testing across a broad vendor community, exercise interoperability across multiple platforms and assist participants in addressing potential interoperability issues.

Spiceworks Upgrades its Free IT Management Software

Spiceworks announced the beta release of an updated version of its free IT management software, which includes new capabilities that allow users to automatically backup, compare and restore configurations for networked devices.

In addition, the upgraded version of Spiceworks offers a newly tuned network map that enables IT managers to track bandwidth information for individual end points, such as desktops and laptops.

Spiceworks currently claims over 1 million users for its IT management application, supporting 35 million workers, and 60 million computers and devices.

Transtelco Deploys Ciena Along US-Mexico Border

Transtelco, a regional operator serving businesses and carriers along the U.S.-Mexico border, has deployed a 400 km high-capacity network span using Ciena's WDM transport technology. Transtelco provides metro and long-haul transport, dedicated IP access, co-location and voice termination services as a wholesale carrier and directly to end-user customers, ranging from small and medium businesses to enterprises.

The new link is the longest span in Transtelco's 4,000 km fiber network, adding route diversity, redundancy and bandwidth availability. The deployment includes Ciena's CoreStream Agility Optical Transport System and CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Service Platform for the network expansion. Transtelco has also deployed additional platforms from Ciena's packet-optical transport portfolio to aggregate traffic onto the point-to-point link and increase connectivity to the operator's metro rings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

FireEye and Solera Enter Security Analytics Partnership

FireEye and Solera Networks announced a technology partnership to provide visibility into cyber incidents before and after they occur in enterprise networks. The alliance combines FireEye's Malware Protection System and Solera Networks' network forensics platform into a single solution for capturing detailed analytics of cyber security attacks, including zero-day and advanced persistent attacks to enable swift, intelligent response.

Spirent Verifies LTE to CDMA Handover

Spirent Communications has enhanced its testing capability to verify LTE to CDMA handover of mobile device signals, also known as Inter-Radio Access Technology (I-RAT) handover. Specifically, this I-RAT handover testing functionality has been added to Spirent's 8100 family of automated device testing solutions. The 8100's eAirAccess network emulator features powerful enhanced packet core (EPC) emulation for simultaneous support of multi-technology (LTE, CDMA/EV-DO, UMTS), multi-cell networks. This enables the broadest possible test coverage of LTE multi-mode device performance, including RF/MIMO, location-based services, data throughput and more.

Fujitsu Packet Optical Networking Platform Gains U.S. Approval

Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet Optical Networking Platform (Packet ONP) has been added to the U.S. government's Unified Capabilities (UC) Approved Products List (APL). The FLASHWAVE 9500 joins the FLASHWAVE 4100 ES micro Packet ONP and FLASHWAVE 4500 Multiservice Provisioning Platform (MSPP), among other Fujitsu platforms, on this list of approved products for deployment by the U.S. government.

The FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP simultaneously supports Connection-oriented Ethernet (COE), ROADM and SONET/SDH transport technologies. By combining circuit and packet-based switching the FLASHWAVE 9500 platform enables a migration away from disparate legacy technologies toward a ubiquitous, secure and highly reliable converged Global Information Grid (GIG).

Exalt Introduces 4G/LTE-Ready Microwave Backhaul Platform

Exalt Communications introduced its "ExploreAir" microwave backhaul platform -- featuring speeds exceeding 500 Mbps full duplex along with a built-in compression option that delivers speeds up to 1000 Mbps with a single carrier and in a single channel. Link capacities can also be increased using the system's built-in capacity aggregation capability.

Exalt designed its ExploreAir platform for 4G/LTE mobile and WiMAX backhaul applications. It could also be used by wireless ISPs, enterprise, and government agencies for building new ring or mesh mixed-mode fiber/microwave networks.

The first ExploreAir systems, available now, support world frequency bands from 2 to 40 GHz in a compact, lightweight all-outdoor configuration. Key features include:

  • Native support for both TDM and Ethernet

  • Built-in compression option for increasing link capacities up to 1,000 Mbps

  • Errorless and jitterless adaptive modulation with integrated QoS, which extends link distance, reduces antenna size, and dynamically allocates priority to TDM and IP traffic on the same link.

  • Field-replaceable diplexer technology, which reduces the cost of spares by 50% to 90% compared to split-mount or other all-outdoor systems.

  • 128- and 256-bit AES encryption.

  • SNMPv3 remote management capabilities.

  • Built-in multi-port switch and spectrum analyzer, and embedded operating manual.

"New high capacity applications, including the thousands now available on smartphones and other devices, are exhausting network capacity," said Amir Zoufonoun, CEO of Exalt Communications. "While operators want to provide a high level of service, the cost of new equipment is often prohibitive and doesn't scale. At Exalt, we understand the challenges that mobile operators and enterprises are facing. ExploreAir is yet another pay-as-you-grow solution from Exalt that delivers future-proof backhaul functionality with gigabit Ethernet capacity, while lowering operating costs to support both legacy TDM and new IP applications over the same network."

LightSquared Plans $7 Billion National LTE Network with NSN

LightSquared, a new company backed by Harbinger Capital Partners, unveiled its plans to launch a wholesale-only, 4G-LTE network across the U.S. complemented by satellite coverage. LightSquared will provide wholesale wireless broadband capacity to a diverse group of customers, including retailers; wireline and wireless communication service providers; cable operators; device manufacturers; web players; content providers; and many others. The LightSquared network will allow these partners to offer satellite-only, terrestrial-only, or integrated satellite-terrestrial services to their end users.

Nokia Siemens Networks has signed an 8-year agreement valued at more than $7 billion over 8 years to provide network design, equipment manufacturing and installation, and network operations and maintenance. The nationwide LightSquared network, consisting of approximately 40,000 cellular base stations, will cover 92 percent of the U.S. population by 2015. The satellite portion of the LightSquared network will leverage the next generation hybrid Mobile Satellite System (MSS) with an Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) developed by SkyTerra.

Harbinger Capital Partners has completed its previously announced acquisition of SkyTerra Communications, which is now part of LightSquared.

In addition to the $2.9 billion of assets already contributed by Harbinger Capital Partners and affiliates, LightSquared is announcing additional debt and equity financing of up to $1.75 billion.

"LightSquared will be a disruptive force in the U.S. wireless landscape by democratizing wireless broadband services," said Sanjiv Ahuja, the company's newly appointed chairman and CEO. "We're not only delivering exciting opportunities for manufacturers and retailers, but also real change for consumers, dealers, and service providers. We're providing everyone, including underserved communities, with a fast, reliable experience regardless of where they are located in the United States. This network will return our country to its rightful position as a leader in wireless broadband technology and solidify its reputation as the center of global innovation."
  • In March 2010, The FCC approved the transfer of control of SkyTerra to Harbinger Capital Partners. SkyTerra is building two new satellites for a next generation ancillary terrestrial network, which will offer ubiquitous mobile + satellite communications across North America.

  • In January 2006, SkyTerra (formerly named Mobile Satellite Ventures) selected Boeing to build and deliver two Space-Based Networks (SBN), consisting of two 702HP satellites, four uplink gateway sites, and Ground-Based Beam Forming (GBBF) equipment. The first of two SkyTerra next-generation satellites is planned for launch this year aboard an ILS Proton rocket.

  • Sanjiv Ahuja is the Chairman and CEO of LightSquared. From 2004 until 2007, Sanjiv was Chief Executive Officer of Orange.

  • Drew Caplan serves as Chief Network Officer, where he is responsible for the company’s
    network engineering and technology functions, as well as leading the development and deployment of
    the company’s next generation network. He previously served as CNO for SkyTerra Communications prior
    to its acquisition by LightSquared. From 1996 to 2005, he founded and led Nextel Communications’ national engineering organization, responsible for development, engineering, planning, and deployment of new technologies, products, and services, highlighted by the introduction of Nextel’s nationwide and international Push-to-Talk feature.

  • Frank Boulben serves as LightSquared's chief marketing officer. Previously, he was group commercial director at Vodafone and group chief marketing officer at Orange. He also served on the Board of the GSMA from 2004 to 2006 and was chairman of the Board Strategy Committee.