Thursday, October 28, 2010

Softbank Proposes Fiber Broadband Highway for Japan

Softbank's Masayoshi Son outlined a bold initiative to create a far reaching fiber strategy for Japan under which NTT's access network would be divested into a new company in which Softbank and other competitors would invest. The plan follows the model of Singapore, where a single network access provider deploys and operates a fiber access network while providing equal access to competing ISPs. Under the Softbank plan, FTTH would be deployed rapidly to 100% of Japanese homes using no public funds.

Under the plan, NTT East and NTT West would spin off their fiber access businesses into a new company. NTT, the Government of Japan, Softbank, KDDI would be shareholders in the new access utility company. The government would become a 40% stakeholder by selling its other shares in NTT and investing 200 billion yen. Softbank and KDDI would each invest 100 billion yen in the company for a 20% stake each. NTT would also contribute 100 billion yen. The new venture would also need to absorb some of NTT's long term debt, but would have 500 billion yen to spend for a rapid fiber rollout across the country.

Softbank reckons that by moving to a 100% fiber architecture, the new company would reap significant long term savings compared to maintaining the current metallic infrastructure. Maintenance savings are estimated at 60% over ten years. Significantly, it calculates that the cost of optics broadband could be reduced from 5000 yen to 1150 yen. Moreover, a single access utility company for all of Japan would also become a profitable enterprise, according to the Softbank numbers, whereas the current access divisions are loss makers.

NTT DATA to Acquire Keane for IT Services Business

NTT DATA CORPORATION has agreed to acquire Keane, a U.S.-based IT services firm, for an undisclosed sum. Keane is majority owned by Citigroup Venture Capital International Technology Holdings.

Keane, which is based in Boston, provides a broad range of IT services related to custom application development and management, enterprise application services, infrastructure solutions, and business process outsourcing. The company has approximately 12,000 professionals, including 5,000 across North America and 7,000 professionals in Europe, India, Asia-Pacific

NTT DATA said the acquisition is part of its strategy to accelerate its globalization and boost its global portfolio and overseas presence. NTT DATA will also gain enhanced operational know-how regarding global delivery, which will support its IT services business and enable the provision of vertically focused IT solutions in the U.S. and abroad.

"This transaction with Keane will allow us to provide comprehensive IT services including system development and management of mission critical systems in North America. Keane has a superior reputation in the area of application and infrastructure services, as well as deep industry expertise. I believe that this, combined with their unique global delivery model and our global scale, offers more cost-effective and higher value solutions to our customers," stated Toru Yamashita, President and Chief Executive Officer of NTT DATA.

Hawaiian Telcom Exits Chapter 11, Reduces Debt by $850M

Hawaiian Telcom Communications completed its reorganization and has emerged from its Chapter 11 proceedings. Through its reorganization, Hawaiian Telcom has reduced its debt by over $850 million, or approximately 74 percent, and has emerged with $300 million of debt. The process began in December 2008.

"Thanks to the dedication of each of our employees statewide, the ongoing support of our customers and suppliers, and the cooperation of our lenders, we have successfully completed our reorganization which marks a new beginning for the Company," said Eric K. Yeaman, Hawaiian Telcom's president and CEO. "As was our goal, we have significantly reduced our debt through the Chapter 11 process and have emerged a much stronger, more financially secure company better positioned to address the growth opportunities as the leading communications provider in the Hawaii marketplace."

CLEAR 4G Goes Live in NYC

Clearwire officially launched its 4G service in New York City.

Verizon FiOS Begins 3D Films

Over the next two months, Verizon will launch 10 feature films in 3D. The 3D VOD movies are available to all FiOS TV customers across the country who have a 3D television set, 3D glasses and a high-definition set-top box.

RADCOM Cites Expanded Rollouts in South Asia

RADCOM announced that a Tier 1 operator customer in South Asia is expanding their deployment of RADCOM equipment, adding 3G monitoring to their current implementation. The expansion will provide GPRS/UMTS mobile data services, including mobile broadband and smart phones.

"We are very pleased that this operator has selected RADCOM to monitor its 3G network. We believe that by using Omni-Q, this operator will be able to improve its network performance for the various wireless broadband services it provides," said Yoram Sherman RADCOM's VP Sales Asia-Pacific.

Telefónica O2 Employs NSN's Security-as-a-Service

Telefónica O2 has chosen to deploy Nokia Siemens Networks' security-as-a-service at a fixed monthly fee for its customers in the Czech Republic. Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks has integrated its security-as-a-service into Telefónica's operational support system/business support system (OSS/BSS) platforms. The security service is delivered to Telefónica O2's enterprise customers from the operator's secure, centralized, and continuously updated platforms in O2 data centers to protect fixed Internet access. A fixed monthly fee is charged to enterprises for the service.

Infinera Names Kambiz Hooshmand Board Chairman

Infinera appointed Kambiz Hooshmand as its new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mr. Hooshmand has more than two decades of experience in optical transport, routing, access, and related technologies. He was President and CEO of Applied Micro Circuits Corporation from 2005 to 2009. Before that, he held a number of senior positions at Cisco Systems Inc. including VP and General Manager of Cisco's Optical and Broadband Transport business unit.

The company also named Infinera co-founder Dr. David Welch to the Board of Directors. Dr. David Welch was a co-founder of Infinera and serves today as Infinera Executive Vice President, and Chief Strategy Officer. Prior to Infinera, Dr. Welch held a number of senior positions at leading optical component makers SDL Inc. and JDS Uniphase.

Hughes Gets Loan Guarantee for Ka-band "Jupiter" Satellite

BNP Paribas and Societe Generale have agreed to provide a $115 million loan guarantee to Hughes Network Systems for the launch of Jupiter, its next generation, high-throughput, Ka-band satellite. The loan is guaranteed by COFACE, the French Export Credit Agency, and Arianespace has been contracted by Hughes to launch Jupiter in the first half of 2012.
  • Switching capacity aboard the next-generation Jupiter satellite is expected to be 100 Gbps -- ten times the current generation SPACEWAY 3 with 10 Gbps of capacity.

GSA and DISA Award Satellite Contract to Hughes

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) selected Hughes Network Systems to provide commercial satellite communications under new a new contract created by the GSA and Defense Intelligence Systems Agency's (DISA) Future COMSATCOM Services Acquisition (FCSA) program.

Under the terms of the contract (GS-35F-0907P), Hughes may provide government agencies within the continental United States with satellite-based Internet, voice, data, and video services; emergency response/disaster recovery voice and data networks; connectivity to the Internet via satellite services through portable satellite IP modems; and other pre-existing, pre-engineered fixed/mobile/hybrid satellite services. Hughes also will provide network management, monitoring, engineering, integration and operations necessary to deliver key services.

"Hughes is proud to be among the first companies awarded the opportunity to compete for government satellite requirements under the FCSA program," said Tony Bardo, assistant vice president for government solutions at Hughes. "Satellite broadband services support critical mission requirements ranging from military and homeland security communications-on-the-move activities, to civilian and state/local government requirements for emergency preparedness, telework, back-up communications networks to support Land Mobile Radio (LMR), and remote Internet access. We are excited to begin providing Hughes subscription services throughout the U.S. utilizing our award-winning SPACEWAY 3 satellite and advanced HX System, and transponded capacity worldwide."

Eutelsat Declares Newly Launched W3B Satellite a Total Loss

Eutelsat declared its new W3B satellite a total loss, after a propellant leak was detected on the satellite's propulsion subsystem.

The W3B satellite was launched on October 28 by an Ariane rocket from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. Initially, the launch was declared a success. Separation of the satellite from the launch vehicle took place 28 minutes after lift-off. Operations needed to circularise the new satellite's orbit, place it into its operational configuration and carry out in-orbit testing will be controlled by Eutelsat from its satellite control centre at the Rambouillet teleport (near Paris), using a global network of earth stations.

W3B was equipped with 56 transponders, including three in Ka-band transponders, enabling it to deliver both broadcasting and telecom/data services. Target markets were satellite and cable homes in Central Europe, although high-power coverage over Indian Ocean islands, including Mauritius and Reunion Island, was also planned.

W3B was scheduled to be located at 16 degrees East to replace Eutelsat's EUROBIRD 16, W2M and SESAT 1 satellites. With the loss of W3B, the three satellites will now remain in full service at 16 degrees East until the arrival of W3C, whose launch is on track for mid-2011. Eutelsat will also immediately initiate a new satellite programme, called W3D, for a planned launch in the first quarter of 2013.
http://www.eutelsat.comThe next Eutelsat satellite on the launch-pad is KA-SAT, Europe's first High Throughput Satellite, which is scheduled for launch in December this year.

IBM Completes Acquisition of BLADE

IBM completed its previously announced acquisition of BLADE Network Technologies, a privately held company based in Santa Clara, CA. Financial details were not disclosed. BLADE will become part of IBM Systems and Technology Group. The company specializes in software and devices that route data and transactions to and from servers.

BLADE provides blade server and top-of-rack switches, as well as software to virtualize and manage cloud computing and other workloads. The company has pursued the "switch on a blade" concept and has shipped over 9 million ports to date. BLADE has also developed switching virtualization software for cloud computing environments. This allows servers to more closely integrate with the network so that clients can deploy thousands of virtual machines to run large application workloads in the cloud and reduce complexity through simplified management.

IBM said the acquisition builds on its networking capabilities. IBM and BLADE have worked together since 2002, resulting in thousands of joint clients. In fact, over 50 percent of IBM System x BladeCenters currently attach to or use BLADE products.