Sunday, January 9, 2011

IBM Tops U.S. Patent List for 2010

IBM received a record 5,896 U.S. patents in 2010, marking the 18th consecutive year it has topped the list of the world's most inventive companies. Top companies on the list include:

1. IBM -- 5,896

2. Samsung -- 4,551

3. Microsoft -- 3,094

4. Canon -- 2,552

5. Panasonic -- 2,482

6. Toshiba -- 2,246

7. Sony -- 2,150

8. Intel -- 1,653

9. LG Electronics -- 1,490

10. HP -- 1,480

SMSC to Acquire Conexant for $284 Million

SMSC, a supplier of Smart Mixed-Signal Connectivity silicon, agreed to acquire Conexant Systems in a deal valued at approximately $284 million.

Conexant develops silicon for imaging, audio, embedded modem, and video surveillance. Conexant, which is headquartered in Newport Beach, California, has approximately 600 employees worldwide, including over 230 in Asia.

The companies said their complementary connectivity product portfolios covers an expansive set of computing, consumer, industrial and automotive applications. The combined company has anticipated annualized pre-tax cost synergies of $8 to $10 million by the end of SMSC's fourth quarter of fiscal 2012.

"In our industry, size and scope provide a significant advantage with customers and suppliers," said Scott Mercer, Conexant's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "SMSC and Conexant share similar core competencies in analog and mixed-signal design, possess complementary product portfolios, and count many customers in common. By joining forces, we get the opportunity to take advantage of economies of scale and drive profitable growth. I am convinced that combining our companies will best serve the interests of Conexant stockholders, customers, and employees moving forward."

Skype Reports Record Traffic -- 27 Million Simultaneous Users

Skype had 27 million simultaneous users on Monday, January 11. This represents a new peak for the service.

Thumb Cellular Joins Verizon Wireless' Rural LTE Program

Michigan-based Thumb Cellular has joined Verizon Wireless' LTE in Rural America program. Under this program, Thumb will deploy and operate a state of the art 4G LTE wireless network which will provide greater telecommunications capabilities and choices for the residents of Michigan's Thumb area.

Under the agreement, Verizon Wireless will lease to Thumb its 700 MHz upper C block wireless spectrum in the Thumb Cellular service areas where Verizon Wireless has not constructed a network. Using the leased spectrum, Thumb will construct and operate a 4G LTE network in three counties in Michigan serving Thumb customers, Verizon Wireless customers and customers of other LTE in Rural America participants. In addition, Thumb customers will have access to Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network throughout the United States.

Agri-Valley Communications which has a long and rich history of meeting the telecommunications needs of the rural communities it serves. Agri-Valley Communications is a locally- and family-owned business which is parent to Thumb Cellular, Agri-Valley Broadband, Agri-Valley Services and Pigeon Telephone Company, an independent local exchange carrier.
  • Previously announced participants in Verizon Wireless' LTE in Rural America program include Cross Telephone, Bluegrass Cellular and Pioneer Cellular.
  • In October 2010, Nokia Siemens Networks announced that Michigan-based Agri-Valley Communications, a rural internet service provider, had selected it for a regional rural LTE deployment using 700 MHz spectrum. The contract includes core and radio elements as well as network management and related services. Nokia Siemens Networks said it would supply its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) using Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway). It will also provide its NetAct network management system to efficiently monitor, manage and optimize the operator's network. Nokia Siemens Networks' Value-Added Reseller (VAR), Avion Systems will manage installation, commissioning and integration of the solution.

Finland's DNA Signs Ericsson for 4G/LTE

Finland's DNA Group has signed a three year contract with Ericsson covering GSM/HSPA/LTE radio access, Evolved Packet Core (EPC), All IP-based mobile backhaul solutions as well as network management solutions. Services to DNA will cover support, network rollout, systems integration as well as consultancy and educational services.

The deal extends an existing partnership between DNA and Ericsson. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NTT West Tests Residential Services with Mu Dynamics

NTT WEST has adopted Mu Dynamics' Test Suite to ensure its residential gateway services, such as broadband connectivity, are properly functioning and secure in real world environments. The carrier's Research and Development Center is using the Mu Test Suite to test devices such as service edge routers and residential gateways for wired services.

The Mu Test Suite can leverage actual traffic from the service provider's environment to create test scenarios and auto-generate thousands of tailored test cases custom-tailored to the unique system under test. These test cases accelerate testing for scale, functionality, interoperability, resilience and security of the NGN service.

The companies said this approach enables NTT WEST to test the security and resiliency of their specific service and to identify and fix issues before deployment, ensuring a successful rollout. The Mu Dynamics approach also accelerates and simplifies this testing process.

"As the largest provider of communication and Internet services in Japan, using innovative technologies to proactively test our services is a critical part of our delivery lifecycle," said Mr.Takagi Director, Research and Development Center at NTT WEST. "The Mu Test Suite is instrumental in helping us ensure the reliability and security of our residential gateway services. This is achieved by using our actual network traffic as the basis for the test case creation."
  • In September 2010, Mu Dynamics disclosed that Chunghwa Telecom Laboratories, the R&D arm of Taiwan's leading service provider, had selected the Mu Test Suite in order to quickly develop and deploy new services, ensure the security of its services and quickly resolve customer issues on the network.

MegaPath Launches Managed Security Services with Fortinet

MegaPath introduced new Security as a Service (SaaS) offerings delivered over its nationwide PCI-certified MPLS network. MegaPath's new Managed Security Services leverages Fortinet's Unified Threat Management (UTM) solutions to deliver robust protection. Customers can select a MegaPath Internet connectivity service and then select the SaaS service to address their specific security requirements, corporate guidelines and compliance needs.

In addition to its Compliance Services, MegaPath's Managed Security Services offers Attack Mitigation with an advanced firewall and intrusion prevention with rogue wireless detection, Web Filtering with content filtering and white/blacklisting, Anti-Malware with anti-virus, anti-crimeware and anti-spam, and Application Security with advanced application control and data leak prevention.

"Security is one of the top concerns within most organizations today, and by adding leading security capabilities to our premises-based offerings, MegaPath can now offer services that protect customers' internal networks and Internet connections," said John Ramsey, Senior Product Manager of Managed Security and Compliance, MegaPath.

  • In September 2010, Speakeasy, Covad Communications and MegaPath merged into a single company, creating a next generation Managed Services Local Exchange Carrier (MSLEC) with more than 85,000 business customers and over 4,500 partners throughout North America. The new company, which is called MegaPath, is privately held by a group of investors, including the primary investor, Platinum Equity. Best Buy is also an investor in the combined business. MegaPath, which operates a nationwide MPLS network, offers hosted and integrated voice services; VPN and MPLS service; business-class broadband from DSL up to 15 Mbps, as well as T1 and bonded T1 and business Ethernet at up to 20 Mbps over copper.

Cisco Adds to Catalyst Switch Family

Cisco added to its Catalyst switch family with two products aimed at extending network connectivity and power outside the wiring closet.

The new Cisco Catalyst 3560-C and Catalyst 2960-C Compact Series (C-Series) Switches are compact models of existing switches with the same name and functionality. The -C designates a compact design that is roughly half the size of an Xbox console. The switches are designed for unified communications, wireless access, IP video and other applications in wiring-, space-, and power-constrained environments. They feature a pass-through Power over Ethernet (PoE) capability, eliminating the need for access to power outlets and reducing cabling complexities.

Hatteras Networks Signs Walker for Distribution

Hatteras Networks announced a partnership with telecommunications network products distributor, Walker and Associates covering the resale of the entire Hatteras product line to carriers across North America.

Hatteras' flagship HN6100 modular, multi-service Ethernet platform enables carriers to offer any service, over any media, via any port or slot from a single chassis. Its portfolio also includes the HN500, a cost-effective Ethernet-over-Time Division Multiplexing (EoTDM) demarcation device, which allows bonding of multiple PDH signals (T1 or E1) into a single Ethernet connection for delivery of 10 Mbps of Ethernet service capacity; as well as the HN4000 for facilitating high-speed symmetrical bandwidth up to 100 Mbps and Ethernet services over copper.

Cavium Offers "TurboDPI" Deep Packet Inspection Software

Cavium Networks introduced its "TurboDPI" off-the-shelf, multi-function security software optimized for its OCTEON II processors, enabling network equipment manufacturers to more easily integrate DPI features such as protocol analysis, application recognition, intrusion prevention, anti-malware protection, URL Filtering, unified threat management, antivirus gateways, subscriber charging, application aware QOS and service level agreements, usage monitoring and preventing denial of service.

Cavium said its TurboDPI software can be utilized inline or out of band to detect hundreds of protocols including Internet (HTTP, FTP etc), Email (IMAP, POP3, SMTP etc.), Web 2.0 (Facebook, Myspace, etc), Multimedia (Flash, Quicktime, YouTube, etc), Peer to Peer (Bittorrent, eDonkey, etc) and Voice and Messaging (Skype, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, etc). The software is highly customizable using a number of configurable detection engines for signature, heuristics and ports and also supports flow based detection. It is also extensible via customer plug-ins during design stage or in the field.

"As well as providing architectural, development and performance services, we now offer a complete ready to go DPI solution, not just APIs and toolkits, that can analyze the data stream to help identify protocols and applications, inappropriate URLs, intrusion attempts or malware, all in a single pass thru the data," said Safa Alkateb, general manager, Cavium Solutions and Services, "TurboDPI utilizes our advanced deep packet inspection acceleration hardware that is built into every one of our OCTEON II processors to enable our customers to quickly and seamlessly add DPI to their equipment for the first time or turbocharge their existing DPI designs."

YouTube: Clearwire Reports Results in LTE 2X Trials in Phoenix

In this recently-posted video, Clearwire reports impressive results in its testing of 10 MHz and 20 MHz channel widths in its network in Phoenix, Arizona. For a 10 + 10 MHz LTE-FDD configuration with a single user on the cell site, Clearwire is able to achieve downlinks of 48 Mbps and uplinks of 15 Mbps while driving in a car. The 20 MHz test achieves even higher performance.

  • In August 2010, Clearwire announced it would test coexistence scenarios for WiMAX and LTE in Phoenix using both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) configurations using 40 MHz of spectrum paired in 2 x 20 MHz contiguous channels ("LTE 2X"), and Time Division Duplex (TDD) configurations using 20 MHz of spectrum. Initial tests have recently confirmed that the company's LTE 2X trial network achieved peak download speeds on commercially available equipment and devices in excess of 90 Mbps and upload speeds of more than 30 Mbps. Clearwire expects to conclude the tests in Q1 2011.

Spread Networks Builds Low-Latency Interconnect with Equinix

Spread Networks, a new a privately owned telecommunications provider that has built a low latency Ethernet wave network connecting New York and Chicago, has built a link into Equinix's New York (NY4) International Business Exchange data center in Secaucus, NJ. The new route was trenched between Carteret, NJ and the Equinix NY4 IBX data center in Secaucus. The Equinix NY4 IBX data center in Secaucus hosts many financial market participants including the Boston Options Exchange and Direct Edge, and improves network availability through interconnection to strategic financial partners that require optimized network routes.

  • In August, Spread Networks unveiled its network, which operates along a completely new 825 mile route. The company cited round-trip latency of 13.33 milliseconds for its tests. Most connections between these financial centers have operated along railroad rights of way that avoided mountainous construction ducts in central Pennsylvania.

  • Spread Networks is headed by Jim Barksdale (Chairman), who also is Chairman and President of Barksdale Management Corporation and former CEO of Netscape and AT&T Wireless, and David Barksdale (CEO). Its technical team includes Michael Strickland (Senior Vice President, Technology and Engineering), who previously was Director of Network Architecture, Engineering and Deployment at Level 3.

JDSU Opens Optical Lab with Beijing University P&T

JDSU has established an optical network test lab and scholarship program at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications (BUPT).

  • In October, JDSU opened a new Suzhou-based facility for manufacturing high-precision optical coatings for a wide variety of markets that include 3D, gesture recognition, theater projection and sensing applications. JDSU's presence in China includes operations in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Beijing, Suzhou and other locations.