Monday, February 14, 2011

Ericsson and Polycom Cooperate on Telepresence

Ericsson and Polycom will offer an integrated end-to-end solution for hosted telepresence services. The joint offering integrates the Ericsson IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) network and Polycom infrastructure and telepresence endpoints.

Japan's EMOBILE Outsources with Ericsson

Japan's EMOBILE announced a network outsourcing contract with Ericsson. EMOBILE also recently selected Ericsson to enhance its network with 42Mbps HSPA technology.

RIM Announces LTE and HSPA+ for PlayBook Tablet

Research In Motion (RIM) plans to launch two additional BlackBerry 4G PlayBook tablets during the second half of 2011, featuring support for LTE and HSPA+.

RIM has now announced plans to offer four BlackBerry PlayBook tablets:

1. BlackBerry PlayBook with Wi-Fi

2. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + WiMax

3. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + LTE

4. BlackBerry 4G PlayBook with Wi-Fi + HSPA+

In addition to the Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity referenced above, each tablet can also support:

1. Bluetooth tethering

2. Mobile hotspots (ie. a MiFi, smartphone or other portable device equipped to act as a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot)

3. BlackBerry Bridge

CenturyLink to Resell Verizon Wireless, Gains LTE Access

CenturyLink will be an authorized agent of Verizon Wireless, offering equipment and service plans to its residential and small business customers. Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed.

In addition, CenturyLink customers will have access to Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE network which is available today in 38 major metropolitan areas and more than 60 airports, and will be expanded to an additional 140 markets by the end of 2011.

CenturyLink Revenue Slide Continues

CenturyLink reported Q4 2010 revenues of $1.72 billion compared to $1.84 billion in fourth quarter 2009. This anticipated revenue decline was primarily due to the impact of access line losses and lower access revenues, including the anticipated impact of lower universal service fund receipts and wireless and long distance traffic migration. These decreases more than offset revenue increases driven by growth in high-speed Internet customers, data services demand from business customers and data transport demand from wireless providers.

  • Added nearly 29,000 high-speed Internet customers during the quarter and ended 2010 with 2,394,000 high-speed Internet customers.

  • Reduced access line losses by 12% compared to third quarter 2010 and 15.8% compared to fourth quarter 2009.

  • Generated free cash flow (as defined in the attached financial schedules) of $342 million in fourth quarter 2010, excluding nonrecurring items of $7.1 million and $9.1 million of acquisition related capital expenditures.

  • Achieved approximately $85 million in synergies from the Embarq acquisition during fourth quarter 2010 and ended 2010 with estimated annual run rate synergies of more than $340 million.

For full year 2011, CenturyLink expects operating revenues (excluding the effects of the pending Qwest transaction and any nonrecurring items that may occur ) to be 4% to 5% lower than 2010 operating revenues, as compared to the 6.5% decline in 2010 operating revenues compared to pro forma 2009 operating revenues. In addition, due to (i) anticipated revenue growth associated with the expansion of CenturyLink's Prism TV service, (ii) the revenue impact of the expected continued improvement in the rate of access line loss and (iii) the effects of additional fiber investment, the Company expects its year-over-year rate of revenue decline (excluding the pending Qwest transaction and any nonrecurring items that may occur) to be 2% to 3% by fourth quarter 2011.

The Company currently expects 2011 capital expenditures, excluding any capital related to the integration of the pending Qwest transaction, to be approximately $1 billion, or 16% higher than 2010 capital expenditures of $864 million. This increase is primarily due to the Company's planned incremental fiber to the tower investment for 2011.

Verizon Partners with Intrado on Advanced 911

Verizon and Intrado announced a strategic partnership to deliver advanced 911 capabilities in the U.S.

Verizon Emergency Communications Solutions will combine Verizon's global IP network and managed and professional services with Intrado's advanced 911 technologies to deliver calls and data services to emergency response personnel at public safety answering points (PSAPs).

The new 911 services will be conducted via an IP-enabled communications platform that will be able to support emerging and future capabilities such as consumers sending photos, videos and text messages to public safety responders during an emergency event. The new offering will also build a foundation to enable car safety systems to transmit key crash information, such as how fast the vehicle was traveling at the time of impact, the number of passengers present or whether a vehicle flipped over.

The companies are already upgrading the Denco Area 911 District in North Texas to an IP-based 911 platform.

LightSquared Completes Post Launch Testing

LightSquared crossed another milestone in its bid to launch a nationwide, wholesale-only, integrated wireless broadband and satellite network. The company has completed post launch testing and acceptance of the SkyTerra 1 satellite and Space-Based Network (SBN) from Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems.

Boeing has successfully completed its work on integrating the satellite's communications with the ground segment to form the first integrated wireless broadband and satellite network. The satellite, among the most powerful commercial satellites ever built, and its state-of-the-art ground based beam-forming system, will provide ubiquitous nationwide coverage and enable integrated satellite-terrestrial service using products that are similar to today's typical mobile devices in terms of size, capabilities and build costs.

SkyTerra 1 was launched on November 14, 2010 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It has a 22-meter L-Band antenna and will relay high-data rate radio frequency signals to and from four LightSquared terrestrial gateways located in the United States and Canada.

LightSquared is the new company backed by Harbinger Capital Partners that is building a nationwide LTE + satellite wholesale network. The company has agreements with Qualcomm, Nokia and two other device manufacturers. Qualcomm is integrating L-Band LTE technology in its mainstream chipset roadmap and has developed a satellite air interface technology. The Enhanced Geostationary Air Link (EGAL) enables the satellite mode of operation in mobile devices. These technologies will be integrated into silicon, including Qualcomm's MDM9600 chipset, which is an LTE multi-mode solution. Nokia will supply branded, data-centric products for LightSquared customers. AnyDATA and BandRich will provide embedded modules, USB data modems, and other devices which are expected to launch during the second half of 2011.

  • In January 2011, the FCC issued a conditional waiver of the Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) Integrated Service Rule to LightSquared. This waiver will allow LightSquared's wholesale customers to provide either dual-mode or terrestrial-only devices as part of an integrated satellite-terrestrial broadband service. LightSquared said the FCC's grant of this application is an essential building block for its network.

Netronome's SSL-Inspector Opens the Blind Spot of Encrypted Web Traffic

Netronome reports increased traction for its line of SSL Inspector appliances, which leverage the power of its network flow processors to decrypt SSL traffic traversing a corporate network perimeter.
The platform addresses the blind spot of SSL-encrypted email (such as Gmail), SaaS, social media and other peer-to-peer applications that default to SSL encryption. These encrypted sessions bypass the security coverage provided by the vast majority of intrusion detection systems, firewalls, data loss prevention systems and other cyber security applications. Netronome SSL Inspector appliances solve this problem by actively searching for SSL traffic, guaranteeing that all encrypted communications are detected and optionally inspected while maintaining up to 10 Gbps of network throughput.

The company is adding three new models to this product line, including fixed-configuration 1U appliances as well as modular 1U and 2U platforms. The resulting unmatched price, performance and interface options make SSL inspection a viable option in every unprotected network location.

The expanded product line of SSL Inspector appliances feature:

  • Interface flexibility: The platforms offer the highest number of 10/100, 1 GigE, and 10 GigE interfaces available in 1U and 2U systems.

  • Multi-segment support: Each platform supports multiple network segments, providing SSL inspection for the largest number of networks available in a 1U or 2U platform.

  • Unmatched price and performance options: The product line includes fixed configuration 1U appliances and modular 1U and 2U platforms that create the ideal combination of price, performance and port counts, enabling deployment in every network location from the branch office, enterprise WAN, data center and backbone.

  • Powerful hardware acceleration: The SSL Inspector appliances are powered by Netronome NFP-3240 network flow processors. The hardware acceleration and bulk cryptography engines provide stateful and context-aware inspection of all communications at line-rate with sub-50uS latency.

The SSL Encrypted Traffic
Threat: Common Apps Pose Danger

Huawei's 5-Band and 3 RATs in a Cabinet

At this week's Mobile World Congress, Huawei is showcasing its 5-band 3-mode 1-cabinet for its SingleRAN@Broad products. The cabinet supports five frequency bands and three radio access technologies (RATs) in a single cabinet, allowing for mobile operators to deploy and operate a single network, converging GSM, UMTS, and LTE.

Mr. Wang Tao, President of the Wireless Networks, Huawei, said, "Based on Huawei's SingleRAN@Broad solution, our 5-band 3-mode 1-cabinet solution elevates the dual concepts of convergence and network evolution to new heights. This powerful and efficient solution can protect and add value to mobile operators' core assets such as physical sites, spectra, pipelines, subscribers, and staff. Additionally, our innovative solution gives mobile operators the means with which to evolve quickly and easily in the mobile broadband era so that they can easily achieve their desired business goals."

Etisalat Commences LTE Rollout with Alcatel-Lucent in UAE

Etisalat has selected Alcatel-Lucent for its LTE rollout in the UAE beginning this quarter. The companies describe the project as the first commercial LTE network in the Middle East.

Alcatel-Lucent will supply LTE base stations (eNodeBs), all-IP wireless Evolved Packet Core (EPC), a converged end-to-end network management solution and a range of professional services including project management, planning, installation, commissioning and integration. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it has been selected so far by 12 customers for commercial LTE deployments, including two of the world's largest service providers, and being involved in over 60 trials worldwide.

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile Investigate Cloud-based RAN

Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile will jointly launch technical and economic studies and investigate the technologies essential to build a centralized, collaborative, Cloud-based RAN (C-RAN), such as Alcatel-Lucent's recently-announced lightRadio. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by China Mobile Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, Alcatel-Lucent's flagship company in China.

lightRadio represents a new architecture where the base station, typically located at the base of each cell site tower, is broken into its components elements and distributed through the antenna or the network for cloud-like processing. Additionally the various cell site tower antennas are combined and shrunk into a single small powerful, Bell Labs-pioneered multi frequency, multi standard (2G, 3G, LTE) device that can be mounted on poles, sides of buildings or anywhere else there is power and a broadband connection.

RADCOM Adds LTE to Service Assurance Solution

RADCOM announced LTE support in its Omni-Q service assurance solution, which provides a high level view of network performance, Quality of Service and Quality of Experience. It can also drill down to root cause analysis.

"LTE support for Omni-Q in addition to our eDiamond analyzer means RADCOM is offering a complete solution for every stage of the LTE development cycle," said Eyal Harari, RADCOM's VP Products and Marketing. "The addition of support for LTE along with the existing technologies means that service providers can use one monitoring system for all stages of their network deployment, allowing them to easily integrate LTE along with their existing technologies without having to invest in an additional monitoring system or equipment, thus saving CAPEX."

Big Bet: The New $300 Million Silicon Valley Data Center

Vantage Data Centers, a new company backed by Silver Lake, unveiled plans for a $300 million data center that is under construction in the heart of Silicon Valley. The company has completed construction of the first of three buildings located at a former Intel facility in Santa Clara, California. The 18-acre facility is the largest wholesale data center project on the West Coast.

Vantage Data Centers is pursuing a wholesale data center model. The new facility uses the latest in energy efficiency technology and is designed for global Internet and semiconductor companies that need to scale their cloud-based data centers quickly and cost-effectively.

The three-building campus has 37 megawatts of effective IT power capacity and delivers a Power Utilization Efficiency (PUE) rating at 1.20, which the company claims is the best in the industry. The design leverages a number of physical, electrical, and mechanical innovations to enable the extreme scale, flexibility, efficiency and density.

The company said it sees an opportunity to enter market because most existing data centers are nearly a decade old and do take advantage of the latest technologies.

"The Santa Clara project is a showcase for the industry on how data centers can be more aligned with businesses interests and environmental stewardship," said Jim Trout, Vantage Data Center's CEO. "Vantage's long-term goal is to deliver new levels of efficiency and scalability at every completed campus. Our ability to deliver the lowest energy rates, combined with our scale and flexibility, will translate into significant potential cost savings for our customers."

SonicWALL Debuts Secure Remote Access Virtual Appliances

SonicWALL introduced its Secure Remote Access (SRA) Virtual Appliance and Aventail E-Class SRA Virtual Appliance. The new appliances add to the existing SSL VPN SMB and enterprise-class hardware line-up and further expand SonicWALL's virtualized appliance offerings that include management, reporting and email security.

The SRA Virtual Appliance and Aventail E-Class SRA Virtual Appliance enable SSL VPNs.

Through the use of endpoint control, the SonicWALL Aventail solution provides the ability to identify the user and interrogate the endpoint. Based on the information collected, the SSL VPN solution provides the proper level of access to network resources and confidential data based on the policies defined by the security administrator.

Huawei Shows Terabit Capacity Firewall

Huawei unveiled its Eudemon 8000E next-generation firewall featuring Terabit processing capacity for large-scale networks and cloud architectures.

The E8000E is powered by Huawei own silicon technology. It provides a switching capacity of 400 Gbps per slot and 6.4 Tbps for the entire system. It also uses a hardware-accelerated multi-core CPU, which guarantees effective integration of dedicated, high end security functions. The E8000E design facilitates service expansion allowing for the addition of key security applications such as, Intrusion Prevention System (IPS), and Virtual Private Network (VPN) to complement the firewall. In addition, the firewall uses multi-level, multi-core distributed architecture with isolated forwarding, service acceleration, QoS, and security computing components and supports line-rate forwarding on 100Gb/s interfaces.