Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Verizon Wireless Reaffirms Open Networks

Verizon Wireless reaffirmed its commitment to help developers deliver applications to market by continuing to open its network to them with APIs and other tools and services. At the company's Developers Community Conference in Las Vegas, Verizon Wireless also outlined the progress of V CAST Apps, its mobile storefront, and said that it is expanding V CAST Apps to additional platforms, beginning with Android devices.

Verizon Wireless said it has more than 5,000 developers in its community.

Verizon Wireless has published an LTE Application Developer's Guide with guidelines to the open access environment. v

The V CAST Apps storefront launched earlier this year on the RIM platform, and submissions are now being accepted for Android-based applications in V CAST Apps. V CAST Apps offers developers speedy time-to-market and carrier-billing, so any charges for the applications appear on the customer's monthly wireless bill.

France Telecom Buys 40% of Morocco's Médi Télécom

France Telecom confirmed its intention to acquire an initial stake of 40% in Médi Télécom, Morocco's second largest telecoms operator with licenses for fixed, mobile and 3G. The deal is valued at 640 million euros.

Médi Télécom claims over 10 million mobile subscribers and a market share of 37%. It has published sales of over 5.3 billion dirham (465 million euros) in 2009 with an EBITDA margin of 40% and an operational cash-flow of around 1.4 billion dirham (131 million euros).

Stéphane Richard, France Telecom's CEO, said "The acquisition of this stake in Médi Télécom is the first concrete step in our new policy of expansion outside Europe, and contributes to our stated aim of doubling our revenues in Africa and the Middle-East over the next five years. I am delighted to contribute to this strategic partnership, which can only strengthen Médi Télécom's profile as a dynamic and solid company."http://www.francetelecom.com
  • In July 2010, France Telecom-Orange announced a five year strategic plan to transform its corporate culture and conquer new markets and new business opportunities in the coming digital economy of billions of interconnected devices. The plans were disclosed by Stephane Richard, underscored opportunities in Africa and the Middle East.

Metaswitch Reports Accelerating Trends

Metaswitch Networks' overall revenue grew 33 percent from £62.0 million to £82.4 million (or 18 percent growth in U.S. dollar terms, from $113.7 million to $134.5 million) for the financial year ending 31-August-2010, with pro-forma EBITDA margins sustained at 20 percent.

The company cited significant customer growth in both the North American market and several key international markets, as well as by the successful acquisition and integration of AppTrigger, leading to the addition of the Metaswitch Service Broker product line.

"Metaswitch has enjoyed another year of significant growth in all areas while increasing the depth and breadth of our customer relationships and continuing our commitment to engineering excellence," said Kevin DeNuccio, Metaswitch CEO. "Over the next 12 to 18 months, we'll continue our focus on expanding our footprint into new international markets and bringing innovative new products to market as the trusted architects of next-generation voice networks."

Some other news items from the Metaswitch Forum 2010 being hosted in Orlando, Florida this week:

Telecom Argentina has selected Metaswitch's MetaSphere platform to deliver a fully-featured SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX service to enterprise customers. Telecom Argentina currently serves over 20 million lines in Buenos Aires and the northern part of the country.

Metaswitch Networks and CounterPath Corp. have entered into a joint development and marketing alliance to offer enhanced unified communications capabilities that extend voice, video and messaging services to desktop PCs and mobile devices. CounterPath's product suite includes SIP-based softphones, server applications and Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions. More than 250 service providers have already deployed Metaswitch's VoIP application server, MetaSphere, together with CounterPath softphones.

Cincinnati Bell has deployed Metaswitch Media Gateways and MetaSphere Call Feature Servers to both streamline and optimize the company's three-state network. By deploying Metaswitch, the company has been able to reduce the cost of tandem switching, optimize traffic routing and improve the overall cost-efficiency of their network infrastructure.

CenturyLink and Qwest Receive Merger Approvals

CenturyLink and Qwest Communications have received approval of their pending merger from nine states, as well as antitrust clearance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The companies still require approval from 12 additional states, as well as the Federal Communications Commission, and expect the deal to close during the first half of 2011. Their shareholders have already approved the merger.
  • In July 2009, CenturyTel merged with EMBARQ, the former wireline division of Sprint.. EMBARQ, which was formerly Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division (spun out as an independent company in 2006). At the time this deal was announced, the transaction reflected an enterprise value of approximately $11.6 billion for Embarq, including the assumption of $5.8 billion of EMBARQ's debt. And at the time, Embarq had 5.8 million local phone lines and 1.4 million DSL customers.

JetBlue Picks ViaSat for Inflight Broadband

JetBlue Airways has selected ViaSat's Ka-band satellite technology for inflight broadband JetBlue's fleet of more than 160 aircraft. Under the arrangement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam2 modems for installation on the airline's EMBRAER E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft types along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellites.
JetBlue subsidiary, LiveTV LLC, will manage the integration of the ViaSat broadband and related components onboard the aircraft as well as providing the Wi-Fi enabled services into the overall cabin experience. Because the product will be the first of its kind for commercial aviation, the system must be tested, and certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration, prior to installation fleet-wide. The companies said they expect the first installations to occur by mid-2012.

RADCOM Offers LTE Analyzer

RADCOM announced the release of its eDiamond LTE Smart Analyzer. The platform provides an end-to-end view of network performance and correlates information detected in the different networks into one display, as well as drilling down to root cause analysis.

"We believe RADCOM's recent successes in monitoring data and smartphones have equipped us for success in LTE too." said Eyal Harari- RADCOM's VP Products and Marketing. "Our expansion to the area of LTE, as well as the positioning of this product for manufacturers, not only operators, is a natural vertical expansion for RADCOM." http://www.RADCOM.com

Russia's MegaFon Demos LTE with NSN

MegaFon, Russia's largest network operator, together with Nokia Siemens Networks, showcased a next generation mobile broadband (4G) data call at the IX International Investment Forum Sochi 2010. The call demonstrated peak rates of up to 100 Mbps. It was conducted using Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio Base Station, along with Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network elements Flexi NS (Networks Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway) with unique 4D scaling. Nokia Siemens Networks also provided the necessary network planning, installation and integration for the solution showcase.

Cisco Releases Small Business Products

Cisco made a number of product announcements aimed at the small business market.
Highlights include:

Cisco 300 Series Managed Switches -- a new generation of low-cost, energy-efficient managed switches that save up to 74 percent on power; offer enhanced quality of service and security features, globalization support for languages, a lifetime warranty and advanced replacement options.

Three new IP phones and a new desktop administration tool -- with these new additions, Cisco is now offering HD voice (wide-band audio) across the Cisco Small Business IP Phone portfolio. The IP phones are designed for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series and hosted IP telephony systems. One model is a Bluetooth-enabled, wireless IP phone with Mobile Link, a feature that pairs with a mobile phone to allow the smooth transfer of calls back and forth, plus the import of contacts wirelessly.

Cisco Advanced Video Monitoring System (AVMS) software -- which offers high-quality monitoring and control with advanced analytics for video surveillance deployments of up to 64 cameras. By adding licenses, the business can detect motion, receive alerts if items appear, disappear or move, and integrate video cameras and point-of-sale equipment.

The Cisco VC 220 Dome IP Video Camera -- which provides high image quality in bright and low lighting conditions.

The Cisco VC 240 Bullet IP Video Camera -- which also provides outstanding image quality as well as weatherproof housing, making it ideal for outdoor environment.

ADVA Optical Adds Security Suite to FSP 3000 Platform

ADVA Optical Networking has enhanced its flagship FSP 3000 platform with a security suite that adds low-latency encryption, in-service fiber plant monitoring and security-hardened management capabilities.

The encryption capabilities address the threat posed by the development of more sophisticated fiber-tapping and intrusion technologies. The integrated FSP 3000 encryption solution offers physical layer encryption, which operates at wire speed and keeps latency at its lowest levels. ADVA Optical Networking's implementation utilizes Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption technology and uses the Diffie-Hellman algorithm for automatic key exchange, both of which provide the highest levels of security.

The FSP 3000 platform also gains integrated optical line monitoring capabilities, which provide real-time analysis of the power readings from the optical link. These capabilities help detect fiber breaks or bends and identify security issues such as illegal fiber taps that jeopardize the integrity of mission-critical data.

ADVA is also introducing a security-hardened software architecture to protect the network operator against malicious intrusion attempts that target the command-and-control function of the network element.

"Information increasingly defines the core of every business; to compromise data is to lose the trust of your customers," stated Christoph Glingener, ADVA Optical Networking's chief technology officer. "The new security features of our FSP 3000 platform provide private enterprises a solution to secure the transport of data between data centers, optimizing security and lowering costs. The solution also delivers key functionality that enables managed service providers to deliver premium service portfolios."http://www.advaoptical.com
  • ADVA's FSP 3000 is a multi-service metro and regional transport platform supporting optical access, backhaul and wavelength services. It is also used for private enterprise networks over dark fiber. As a WDM system, it offers up to 80 protected wavelength carried over various topologies. ADVA said its enhanced FSP 3000 empowers an operator to choose any transport protocol at any rate and transport it over a fully tunable long-haul DWDM channel. Specifically, the FSP 3000 can deliver speeds that range from 1, 2, 4, 8 to 10 Gbps, while addressing all storage interfaces currently in use in today's data centers, including Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and Ethernet, among others.