Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bharti Airtel Selects Ericsson, NSN and Huawei

Bharti Airtel has chosen Ericsson India, Nokia Siemens Networks and Huawei Technologies as network partners to launch 3G Services in India. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson was selected to supply the majority of the 3G License Circles held by Bharti. With the new contract, Ericsson continues to be Bharti's largest network partner across 2G and 3G circles in the country.

On the same lines, Bharti has also expanded its relationship with Nokia Siemens Networks, which would manage Bharti's 3G Network in 3 circles across India.

Bharti Airtel has also introduced Huawei Technologies as the 3rd partner for offering 3G services in a few circles.

Airtel said its upcoming 3G services will be specifically targeted towards mobile broadband. The network will be HSPA+ ready from launch.

Infinera Enables Programmable Multi-Service OTN Switching

Infinera is enabling new OTN (Optical Transport Network) capabilities the introduction of both hardware and software enhancements to its family of optical platforms.

The hardware enhancements are new Tributary Adapter Modules for the DTN digital ROADM core WDM system and new Service Interface Modules for the ATN metro/access WDM system. These new modules enable OTN, Ethernet, FibreChannel, SONET/SDH, and wavelength services with per-port programmability. They are compatible with field-deployed DTNs and ATNs, simplify sparing, and expand service delivery.

New software includes Infinera's latest release of the Digital Network Administrator (DNA Release 6), providing even better integration of end-to-end mixed DTN/ATN networks and a host of accelerated-workflow applications to speed and simplify common network operations tasks. The new products have already begun shipping and are planned to be generally available by next month.

Infinera said its approach offers full compatibility with international OTN standards while providing the added benefits of its Digital Optical Networks architecture. OTN promises to simplify, flatten, and reduce capital and operating cost in optical networks. However, most vendor implementations of OTN have been piecemeal to date. The Infinera DTN supports OTN switching at every node, enabling grooming and switching of OTN-encapsulated client services to maximize service reconfigurability and network performance monitoring throughout the network, for increased network bandwidth efficiency. The enhancements announced today add the capability to support native OTN end-to-end services from metro/edge networks across backbone/core networks and standard-compliant OTN networking across multiple operator networks.

New Measures for Europe's Digital Agenda

The European Commission adopted several measures aimed at boosting the roll-out and take up of fast- and ultra-fast broadband as part of its Digital Agenda for Europe.
The goal is to ensure that every European citizen could access basic broadband by 2013, and fast- and ultra-fast broadband by 2020. The newly adopted measures include:

  • A recommendation on access to next-generation networks, so that telecoms operators would know what EU laws will apply and that rules be consistent across the single market. The recommendation primarily covers remedies to be imposed upon operators designated with Significant Market Power (SMP) to ensure sharing of facilities. The recommendation holds that national regulatory authorities should also use their powers to facilitate the deployment of multiple fibre lines where feasible to ensure long term competition. The document also contends that alternative operators, some of whom have already deployed their own networks to
    connect to the unbundled copper loop of the SMP operator, "need to be provided with appropriate access products in order to continue to compete in an NGA context. For FTTH these may consist of access to civil engineering infrastructure, to the terminating segment, to the unbundled fibre loop (including dark fibre) or of
    wholesale broadband access, as the case may be."

  • A proposal to ensure that spectrum is available by 2013 for wireless broadband using the 800 MHz band. The European Commission has already adopted a recommendation calling for analogue broadcasting to be switched off by 1 January 2012, and this band should be made available for electronic communications in the EU by 2013. In the longer term, additional spectrum below 790 MHz could also be envisaged, depending on experience and the
    lack of spectrum in other bands adequate for coverage. Considering the capacity of the 800 MHz band to transmit over large areas, the EC believes coverage obligations should be attached to rights.

The EC also published a policy paper outlining how best to encourage public and private investment in high and ultra-high speed networks. Topics of discussion include using regional and local authorities to held reducing the civil engineering costs of new infrastructure; allowing direct investment in infrastructure by public authorities in line with state aid rules; better use of structural and rural development funds; encouraging wireless broadband because it is cheaper than wireline; and enhancing broadband finance instruments via the European Investment Bank.

Ceragon Acquires Elxys Innovations for RF Designs

Ceragon Networks has acquired Elxys Innovations, a designer of radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFIC).

Elxys, which has been Ceragon's design partner for a number of years, specializes in analog, RF, millimeter-wave and mixed signal integrated circuit design spanning from baseband up to 77 GHz. Total consideration was $1.6 million plus 200,000 restricted share units to Elxys founders who are now Ceragon employees. The company is based in Athens, Greece.

Ceragon said the acquisition allows it to further optimize its core radio technology, for superior radio performance, higher capacities, reduced power consumption and better overall cost.

Broadband Passes 500 Million Subscriber Mark

The number of broadband subscriber lines installed worldwide passed the 500 million mark in July 2010, according to the Broadband Forum and research from Point Topic.

As of the end of Q2 2010, global broadband subscribers reached 498 million lines (497,768,162), representing a 2.63% growth in the quarter and 11.99% in the last 12 months to end of Q2 2010. The number of IPTV subscribers has risen to 38.5 million, up by 2.3 million new IPTV subscribers in Q2 2010.

In some market, the number of DSL subscribers is decreasing, although these are being replaced largely by fiber deployment, either directly to the subscriber or fiber-to-the-building, with the final link often being VDSL2.

To help reach the next 500 million broadband subscribers, the Broadband Forum said it is now focused on defining the evolving end-to-end architecture, ensuring it can support multiple services with quality of service including multi cast. Work includes defining MPLS core specifications as well as access aggregation and local loop solutions (DSL, fiber, etc.). The Forum is also pursuing a Connected Home initiatives, built around TR-069, to provide the de facto remote management standard for remote and automated provisioning, management and troubleshooting of devices in the home.

"It has only taken 11 years to get to half a billion fixed broadband lines. The internet and all that it brings has taken hold like no technology since the invention of fire. It has brought the world closer together, improved health and education standards and introduced an era of cooperation and information sharing that will hasten economic growth and improve standards of living for potentially billions around the world," stated Oliver Johnson, CEO of Point Topic.

The data is being presented at this week's Broadband Forum quarterly meeting in Hong Kong. Some highlights of the report:

  • China represented 43% of all net broadband lines added in Q2 2010 and performed far better than the same quarter in 2009. China added 5,470,888 lines bringing its total to 120,591,488, over 24% of the 500,000,000 lines achieved in the early part of Q3.

  • In Western Europe, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland and Turkey amongst others all reported strong numbers.

  • Central and South American markets have cooled to an extent but many are still reporting good quarterly growth (in the 5%-7% range) . However North America, the USA and in particular Canada have significantly slowed and - in Canada's case - to levels not seen for a decade.

  • IPTV growth is in line with broadband growth so the proportion of the world's broadband lines carrying IPTV remains the same as Q1 at 7.7%.

  • Europe still remains the most established region for IPTV with almost 19 million subscribers, of which almost half are in France. China (with Hong Kong and Macau) had the most net additions this quarter - 421,000 - ranking it second, with USA in third place with almost 6.5 million subscribers.

  • China dominates the Asian IPTV market with over 6.7 million IPTV subscribers, although there is enormous potential in countries such as India which are just at the start of IPTV deployment. Services are also developing in other areas as well. For example, Colombia reported over 100,000 subscribers for the first time in Q2 2010.

Verizon Promotes Lowell McAdam

Lowell C. McAdam has been named president and chief operating officer of Verizon Communications, reporting to Chairman and CEO Ivan G. Seidenberg, where he will have responsibility for the operations of Verizon's network-based businesses - Verizon Wireless and Verizon Telecom and Business - as well as Verizon Services Operations. In addition, McAdam is expected to take over as CEO of the company when Seidenberg retires.

McAdam currently serves as President and CEO of Verizon Wireless. Prior to assuming this position in 2007, McAdam served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless from the company's inception in 2000. Before that, McAdam was president and CEO of PrimeCo Personal Communications, a joint venture owned by Bell Atlantic and Vodafone AirTouch. He also served as PrimeCo's chief operating officer, responsible for overseeing the build, deployment and successful launch of the new company's customer service operations and all-digital network. McAdam is a member and past chairman of the Board of Directors of the CTIA, the wireless industry trade association.

Separately, Verizon named Francis J. Shammo, currently president of Verizon Telecom and Business, to become executive vice president and chief financial officer of the company, effective Nov. 1. Shammo will succeed John F. Killian, who last Monday announced he will retire around the end of the year.

Verizon also announced that Daniel S. Mead, currently executive vice president and chief operating officer at Verizon Wireless, will become president and chief executive officer of Verizon Wireless, succeeding McAdam. The company additionally announced that John G. Stratton, currently chief marketing officer at Verizon Wireless, will succeed Mead as chief operating officer. The Mead and Stratton appointments are effective Oct. 1.

"This is a timely and logical next step in our evolution as we put in place an outstanding senior executive team that can carry us into the future. The decision by the Board to name these leaders now to such critical positions is a testimony to the depth, flexibility and breadth of Verizon's senior team, the soundness of our operating model, and strength of our culture. For the last several years, we have focused diligently on preparing these leaders to take on Verizon's most visible and challenging assignments. That diligence and focus is paying off with the development of highly skilled and broadly experienced executives who will ensure that Verizon doesn't skip a beat as we enhance value to customers and shareholders," stated Verizon Chairman and CEO Seidenberg.

IBM to Acquire Netezza for Performance Monitoring Appliance

IBM will acquire Netezza, a publicly held company based in Marlborough, Mass., in a cash transaction at a price of $27 per share or at a net price of approximately $1.7 billion, after adjusting for cash.

Netezza offers a data warehousing appliance that handles complex analytic queries 10 to 100 times faster than traditional systems. Netezza claims over 350 clients across a variety of industries, including eHarmony, Neiman Marcus, Time Warner, Estee Lauder, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, United HealthGroup, Nationwide Insurance, Sapporo, NYSE Euronext, Virgin Media and others. Netezza has approximately 500 employees around the world.

The Netezza appliances are developed on IBM systems technology. The two companies have been strategic partners for many years focused on workload optimized systems that deliver integrated systems, software and storage for analyzing vast amounts of complex data. Both IBM and Netezza see the importance of integration from the multiprocessor through middleware to business consulting to bring a higher level of efficiency through workload optimized systems. For example, Netezza appliance capabilities highlight integrated software with unique FPGA-Accelerated Streaming Technology (FAST) that allows the system to execute analytic queries at streaming speeds of up to milliseconds, significantly improving the performance and response times for critical business decisions.

"IBM is bringing analytics to the masses. We continue to evolve our capabilities for systems integration, bringing together optimized hardware and software, in response to increasing demand for technology that delivers true business value. Netezza is a perfect example of this approach," said Steve Mills, senior vice president and group executive, IBM Software and Systems. "Netezza strongly complements our business analytics capabilities and client base. Together, we have the opportunity to quickly leverage the technology and accelerate the offering."

"Our vision of an appliance-based Intelligent Economy aligns very well with IBM's Smarter Planet strategy. Netezza appliances set the standard for performance and simplicity in data warehousing and analytics," said Jim Baum, President and CEO of Netezza. "Our customers choose our appliances for their fast time to value and how they simplify analytics against big data. Together with IBM, we are looking forward to extending our capabilities to a much broader market."

The acquisition expands IBM's information and analytics offerings, including services available through IBM's Business Analytics and Optimization Consulting organization. In the last four years, IBM has invested more than $12 billion in 23 analytics related acquisitions. In IBM's second-quarter of 2010, IBM's analytics business grew 14%.

Tail-f and IP Infusion Team on Networking Protocols

IP Infusion and Tail-f Systems announced a strategic alliance to provide advanced communications software configured by a single carrier-grade management system with support for CLI, Web, SNMP, and NETCONF management interfaces.

The alliance between the two companies includes collaboration on product integration, sales and marketing initiatives. IP Infusion will integrate and license Tail-f Systems' ConfD on-device management software with its ZebOS networking protocol stacks.

IP Infusion's ZebOS Networking Platform is a scalable, robust and standards-based Layer 2 and Layer 3 carrier-class switching, routing and data center bridging software solution, which allows OEMs to rapidly add networking capabilities to their new or existing lines of communications products. With ConfD, IP Infusion's customers will be able to choose from additional management interfaces including Cisco and Juniper Networks-style CLIs, Web UI and NETCONF Agent. They will also benefit from support for capabilities such as transaction management, high availability, security and role-based access control.

Telco Systems Intros Service Mgt for CE and MPLS

Telco Systems announced a new service management platform which addresses full life cycle deployment of services in Carrier Ethernet and MPLS edge networks.

Telco Systems' EdgeGenie Service Management System allows providers to visualize how services are being transported across the network end-to-end. It also shows how changes to the network will affect the existing operational network and how services are being delivered.

"When multiple networks and services are consolidated over a single infrastructure, the size and complexity of the network increases dramatically. Implementing intelligence between the customer edge and the provider edge enables these services to be monitored and guaranteed," stated Nir Daube, vice president of product management at Telco Systems. "The combination of highly intelligent and flexible edge devices that use a common operating system and an intuitive service management platform offers the opportunity for service providers to transform the user experience and differentiate service offerings."

Mellanox and Arista Tout 10GbE Latency for Financial Applications

Mellanox Technologies and Arista Networks announced that IBM WebSphere MQ Low Latency Messaging maintained a latency of 4μs at rates up to 100K messages/second and 6μs at one million messages/second using Mellanox ConnectX-2 EN NICs with RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) and Arista 7100 10GigE switch. Latency remained consistently low as the number of multicast groups increased from one to one thousand.

RoCE is an add-on feature to Mellanox's ConnectX-2 EN adapters that implements the IBTA RDMA over Converged Ethernet standard and utilizes the popular OpenFabrics Enterprise Distribution (OFED) and application programming interfaces (APIs). ConnectX-2 EN with RoCE supports both 10 and 40 Gigabit Ethernet today, making it the only Ethernet NIC future-proofed for 40 Gigabit Ethernet fabrics of the near future.

"ConnectX-2 EN with RoCE adapters deliver up to 1/10th the latency, reduced power consumption and improved economics compared to other standards-based 10GigE adapter solutions in the market today," said John Monson, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "The combination of low latency Ethernet switches from Arista and networking solutions from Mellanox provides financial services applications with leading low-latency and sustained performance that meet the financial market's higher message rate requirements."

Sprint / Clearwire Launch in Orlando

Clearwire officially launched 4G in Orlando, Florida. The service extends as far north as Lake Mary, as far south as Kissimmee, east to Waterford Lakes and west to Winter Garden, covering a population of about 1.4 million. Sprint, the majority shareholder in Clearwire, has also launched its Orlando service over the Clearwire network.

Sumitomo Electric to Begin Fiber Production in China

Sumitomo Electric has established a new factory in Hangzhou, China under a joint venture with Futong Group to produce base material for fiber optic cabling. The company is also opening an optical cable plant in Tianjin to tap into China's booming FTTH market.