Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AppliedMicro Enhances its Multi-core PacketPro Processors

AppliedMicro announced the availability of "Diamondback" APM86392 and APM86391, the newest members of its PacketPro™ family of multi-core embedded processing devices. The new processors feature an asymmetric multiprocessing (AMP) capability that enables two or more independent subsystems to operate concurrently with effective isolation on a single chip.

AppliedMicro said this feature improves application performance and provides an easier migration to multicore designs with greater flexibility for a wide range of embedded applications in networking, storage, printing, imaging, and multimedia access systems.

Traditional multi-core processors force software engineers to dedicate one of the cores as a master to control the operations of the other slave cores. By harnessing innovative features of the PacketPro family enabled by AppliedMicro's Scalable Lightweight Intelligent Management processor (SLIMpro) subsystem, developers can implement AMP on APM8639x processors without dedicating one of the cores as a master. This enables completely separate and isolated partitions on a single chip, each with independent operating systems, applications, software, processing bandwidth, I/O and cache. Each subsystem is decoupled from other subsystems during software updates, crashes, rebooting, peak performance demands or other events that can interrupt continuous operations.

"In instances of a system fail requiring complete reboot, the PacketPro allows the decoupling of cores without interruption or impact of other subsystems running on the same embedded SoC device," said Jim Johnston, Senior Director of Marketing at AppliedMicro. "Before this, both subsystems would have to be taken down to reboot one operating system due to dependencies from shared cache memory and other resources. AppliedMicro's approach provides each processor with separate and virtualized access to processor resources that one subsystem can continue operation even if any of the other ones becomes inoperative."

Xilinx Acquires Omiino

Xilinx has acquired privately-held Omiino, a developer of OTN transponders and muxponders, framers and mappers. Financial terms were not disclosed. The company is based in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

John Chambers: Where Cisco is Taking the Network

Cisco is a $40 billion company that for the last decade has seen a virtual explosion in market opportunity but that must now regain the discipline it had in earlier days and re-focus, writes John Chambers in a message to Cisco employees that was posted on the company blog.

Chambers argues that the company's fundamental strategy is right -- extend the network platform to enable collaboration, data center / cloud transformation and video architectures on a global scale. However, he acknowledges that the company has "disappointed our investors and we have confused our employees" and must now earn back the credibility that was lost by the lack of focus.

Chambers does not lay out any concrete steps in the making. He promises bold steps and tough decision ahead to clean out the portfolio "with surgical precision."

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Update



Orckit-Corrigent Lands 3 More Customers for Packet Transport

Orckit Communications announced that three new service providers selected its PTN solution in March 2011 for migration from their legacy SONET/SDH networks to future-proof packet based networks. The initial purchases placed by all three service providers are for immediate deployments. Two providers are based in the Caribbean and Latin America and the third is in Eastern Europe. Customer names and financial terms were not disclosed.

Orckit's PTN solution is designed to scale up the delivery of residential, business and mobile backhauling services in next-generation telecom networks. Incorporating its CM-4000 product family, Orckit's PTN solution encompasses a series of PTN switches based on MPLS and MPLS-TP technologies that offer a flexible mix of Ethernet and TDM services that facilitate the migration toward a packet based network.

Etisalat Declines Bid for Syrian Mobile License

Etisalat announced that it will not seek a mobile license in Syria, despite having earlier qualified to participate in the bidding process. Etisalat said terms and conditions of the bid would not enable it to achieve its objectives regarding the technology and value it wishes to bring to the market nor for its investors and shareholders.

Ahmed bin Ali, the official spokesperson of Etisalat said "We worked hard on this opportunity especially due to the close relations with us and our sister country Syria, but we hoped that the terms and conditions for the license would have been more attractive."

ATIS Task Force Issues Network Convergence Recommendations

ATIS released a set of major recommendations addressing the transition of telecommunications network facilities and technology platforms in a multi-carrier environment. Specifically, the ATIS Consolidation & Convergence Task Force Assessment & Recommendations, March 2011, focuses on the following key steps in this migration: (1) fiber replacing copper; (2) reduction in the number of network centers; and (3) changes in legacy geographic- and service-based policies.

The Task Force was convened by AT&T and Verizon with participants from Alcatel-Lucent, Corning, Ericsson, Intel, Juniper and Qwest.

The CC-TF Assessment & Recommendations document covers: Planning for Consolidation & Convergence; Resiliency, Survivability and Disaster Recovery in a Consolidated & Converged Environment; Interoperability; Environmental Impacts; Applications Services and more.

"Industry's migration of legacy systems to IP-based networks affords it a tremendous opportunity to consolidate facilities, converge networks, and extend or expand IP-enabled innovative services," said Susan Miller, ATIS President and CEO. "Through the CC-TF's efforts to share lessons learned and compile best practices, ATIS is able to offer guidance and assist these efforts by providing the ICT community with recommendations to move these initiatives forward."

XO Posts Q4 Revenue of $390.3 million, up 4%

XO Holdings reported total revenue for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $390.3 million, an increase of $14.5 million, or 4%, compared to the year-ago period. Adjusted EBITDA was $59.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 compared to $43.3 million in the year-ago period. Net loss for the fourth quarter 2010 was $6.5 million compared to $13.3 million net income for the year-ago period. The company said its Q4 net loss was primarily due to a $20.0 million impairment charge related to its LMDS licenses.

Total revenue for 2010 was $1.5 billion, an increase of $8.0 million, or less than 1%, compared to 2009. Adjusted EBITDA (a non-GAAP financial measure) increased 25% to $191.1 million for 2010 compared to $152.6 million for 2009. Net loss for 2010 was $11.8 million compared to $21.8 million net income in 2009.

Vodafone Acquires 33% Essar for $5 Billion

Vodafone Group has acquired the 33% stake in Vodafone Essar that was held by Essar. This will result in a total cash payment of US$5 billion to Essar. Final settlement is anticipated to be no later than November 2011. Vodafone Group's noted that its published net debt figure already includes this US$5 billion. Vodafone's stake in Vodafone Essar is now expected to exceed 75%.

NTT DOCOMO Boosts Investment in India's Tata Teleservices

NTT DOCOMO will make an additional investment in Tata Teleservices Limited (TTSL) as part of its strategy to expand its business presence and revenue sources in India's rapidly growing mobile market.

DOCOMO plans to newly invest approximately 8 billion Indian rupees, or about 14.6 billion yen (1 rupee = 1.83 yen as of Feb. 28, 2011) based on its current 26% stake in TTSL. Payment of one portion of the funds has been made so far, and the rest of the investment is scheduled to be completed in May.

TTSL is expected to use the capital to expand the coverage as well as strengthen the quality of the 3G network it launched in November 2010, responding to increasing market competition for new customers.

Ofcom Proposes new Wholesale Prices for Openreach

Ofcom proposed reduced fees that Openreach, BT's wholesale access division, can charge communications providers for access to some of its main wholesale telecoms services in areas where it retains significant market power. Specifically:

For a fully unbundled line to a property - where a communications provider takes over the line to provide broadband and telephone services.

The regulated wholesale price today is £89.10 per year. Under Ofcom's proposals this will decrease in real terms by between RPI-1.2% and RPI-4.2% every year.

For a shared unbundled line to a property – where a communications provider uses a proportion of the line only for the provision of broadband.

The regulated wholesale price today is £15.04 per year. Under Ofcom's proposals this will decrease in real terms by between RPI-11.6% and RPI-14.6% every year.

For wholesale line rental – used by communications providers to offer telephone services to consumers using lines rented from Openreach.

The regulated price today is £103.68 per year. Under Ofcom's proposals this will decrease in real terms by between RPI-3.1% and RPI-6.1% every year.

UK Regulator to Trims its Budget by 28%

Ofcom, the official telecoms regulator for the U.K., announced plans to reduce its total budget by 28.2 per cent in real terms over four years to 2014/15. The majority of these cuts will be made in year one.

In 2011/12 Ofcom's total budget will be £115.8m. This is a 22.5 per cent real terms year-on-year reduction, some £26.7m. Savings will be made across a wide range of Ofcom's expenditure. Ofcom said it will retain its capability and effectiveness.

Ofcom began a significant review of its spending in early 2010, some months ahead of the Government's spending review which concluded in October. By planning early Ofcom identified and made a number of efficiency savings within the financial year ending 31 March 2011.

This has contributed to a £14.9m saving against Ofcom's budget for 2010/11. Other savings result from the change in responsibilities for the delivery of Digital Participation and delays to the implementation of measures in the Digital Economy act.

AT&T Markets Mobile Protection

AT&T has begun offering a Mobile Protection Pack, available for $9.99 a month, that combines two existing AT&T services - Mobile Insurance and Enhanced Support - along with a new Mobile Locate app, offered exclusively as part of the protection pack.

Mobile Insurance. Formerly Wireless Phone Insurance, Mobile Insurance provides replacement for approved claims involving loss, theft, accidental damage, liquid damage, or mechanical and electrical failure after the manufacturer's warranty expires. Customers can sign up within 30 days of service activation or device upgrade.

Enhanced Support. Customers can take advantage of direct live support (via phone or web chat) for device setup, plus general "how to" help and ongoing troubleshooting assistance. Customers can also grant the service agent permission to remotely access a capable device and/or customer's computer via a secure connection to help manage account and device needs.

Mobile Locate. Available exclusively within the AT&T Protection Pack, Mobile Locate allows users to remotely locate, lock or sound an alarm on their missing phone via the Mobile Protection Pack website. Compatible phones must be powered-on and be within an AT&T coverage area.

Near Field Communication Forum Gains Traction

Google has joined The NFC Forum, which advances the use of Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, as a Principal member. CSR and Intel, formerly Associate Members, have raised their membership status to the Principal level. The NFC Forum has also welcomed 31 additional member from across the ecosystem, including silicon companies, certification labs, software developers and major manufacturers.
  • In December 2010, The NFC Forum announced the publication of four technical specifications that further define the modular architecture and interoperability parameters for NFC devices and protocols. The NFC Forum has now developed and adopted a total of 15 specifications.

IEEE Approves 802.16m Advanced Mobile Broadband Wireless Standard

The IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) Standards Board has approved IEEE 802.16m, which incorporates advanced communications technologies such as multi-user MIMO, multicarrier operation, and cooperative communications. It supports femto-cells, self-organizing networks, and relays. Major worldwide governmental and industrial organizations, including ARIB, TTA, and the WiMAX Forum, are adopting this standard.

IEEE 802.16m provides the performance improvements necessary to support future advanced services and applications for next generation broadband mobile communications. In October 2010, ITU-R agreed to incorporate this technology into its IMT-Advanced Recommendation specifying systems that support low to high mobility applications, a wide range of data rates in multiple user environments, high-quality multimedia applications, and significant improvements in performance and quality of service.