Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Connectivity Scorecard 2011 Ranks Countries by ICT and Innovation

Sweden and the United States ranked highest in the annual Connectivity Scorecard 2011, a global study commissioned by Nokia Siemens Networks and authored by Professor Leonard Waverman, Dean, Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary in conjunction with the consulting firms, Berkeley Research Group and Communicea.

The study measured the extent to which governments, businesses and consumers in 50 countries make use of connectivity technologies to enhance economic and social prosperity. Connectivity is defined as the bundle of infrastructure, complementary skills, software and informed usage that makes communications networks the key driver of productivity and economic growth.

The authors of the study argue that countries that continue to invest in ICT infrastructure, applications and services as well as promoting ICT workforce skills and use will be better able to cope with the effects of global recession and boost their socio-economic growth.

"Despite global economic shocks, the knowledge economy is growing in power. While many advanced countries are forging ahead in terms of infrastructure and their use of ICT, the real connectivity gaps are in the developing world with the exception of strong growth in mobile telephony," said Professor Waverman. "One thing, which is clear is that developing countries must make ICT more affordable, stimulate its adoption and overcome barriers to its use to remain relevant and competitive."

"By commissioning the Connectivity Scorecard, we aim to highlight the pivotal role of information and communications technology in driving productivity and sustainable socio-economic growth ," added Kim Jones, the Connectivity Scorecard program manager at Nokia Siemens Networks. "In its fourth year, the study reiterates that broadband infrastructure deployments only translate into faster economic growth, when there is complementary investment in skills as well as in relevant services and applications."

CenturyLink Sees Continued Access Line Losses

CenturyLink reported Q1 revenue of $1.70 billion compared to $1.80 billion in first quarter 2010. The company attributed the revenue decline primarily 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.

CenturyLink added more than 52,000 high-speed Internet customers during the quarter, and ended the quarter with 2,446,000 high-speed Internet customers.

Qwest Communications, which CenturyLink acquired April 1, 2011, delivered Q1 operating revenues of $2.85 billion, a 4.1% decline from $2.97 billion in first quarter 2010. Strategic services revenues grew primarily due to increases in Qwest IQ Networking and data transport services, as well as higher broadband revenues driven by subscriber growth and an improving mix of higher speed broadband services. These increases were more than offset by a decline in legacy service revenue associated with access line losses, along with lower data integration revenues. Operating income, excluding special items, for first quarter 2011 was $593 million, a 2.4% increase over the $579 million for the same period in 2010. Operating income margin, excluding special items, was 20.8% for first quarter 2011 versus 19.5% in the year earlier quarter. Net income, excluding special items, for Qwest was $220 million in first quarter 2011, compared to $200 million in first quarter 2010.

Qwest added approximately 46,000 high-speed Internet subscribers during first quarter 2011 and served approximately 3.0 million high-speed Internet subscribers as of March 31, 2011. Qwest ended the quarter with approximately 8.6 million access lines in service, experiencing access line losses of 223,000 lines during the first quarter, representing a 2.5% sequential decline and a year-over-year access line decline of 10.7%.

TelePacific to Acquire Orange County Internet Xchange

TelePacific Communications, a California-based CLEC, will acquire Orange County Internet Xchange (OCiX), a dedicated provider of carrier class colocation services. OCiX operates a 10,000 square-foot SAS 70 Type II certified facility, located in Santa Ana, California which TelePacific plans to substantially expand in the near future. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The OCiX data center is strategically located very close to the existing TelePacific colocation facility in Irvine and will immediately provide the needed increased capacity.

TelePacific's other carrier class colocation facilities are located in San Jose, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

TelePacific Acquires Telekenex

TelePacific Communications, a California-based CLEC, will acquire all of the assets and customers of IXC (Telekenex), a business-grade IP services provider headquartered in San Francisco and Seattle.

Under the terms of the agreement, the TelePacific Communications family of companies will gain approximately 1,000 business customers and 122 employees. Financial terms were not disclosed.

TelePacific will also add the following services through the acquisition: a hosted PBX platform with nationwide voice capabilities; a nationwide PCI compliant MPLS backbone; a fiber network in the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Area; managed network services providing advanced configuration and support for complex network deployments; and managed security services through a cloud-based firewall.

"This is a big game-changer for TelePacific," said Dick Jalkut, president and CEO of TelePacific. "This transaction not only enhances TelePacific's network and makes us even more competitive, but it instantly opens up new markets and opportunities for growth. We are excited about the strategic opportunities this presents us and our customers."

Aviat Posts Sales of $115 Million

Aviat Networks reported quarterly revenue of $115.5 million, compared with $117.0 million in the year ago period and $115.9 million in the prior quarter. Net loss (including discontinued operations) was $36.9 million, or $(0.63) per share, compared with a net loss of $25.7 million, or $(0.43) per share, in the year ago quarter. Net loss from continuing operations was $25.5 million, or $(0.44) per share, compared with a net loss of $22.5 million, or $(0.38) per share, in the year ago quarter.

Revenue in the North America segment was $42.5 million in the third quarter of fiscal 2011, compared with $39.5 million in the year ago period and $40.4 million in the prior quarter. International revenue was $73.0 million, compared with $77.5 million in the year ago period and $75.5 million in the prior quarter.

"Aviat Networks made significant progress in driving its technology innovation with the announcement of several new products in the third quarter of fiscal year 2011. In addition, the decision to sell our WiMAX business will enable the company to further focus and invest in our core wireless transmission business and position the company for long-term growth. We believe we did very well in meeting our customer commitments and now are seeing increased customer activity," said Chuck Kissner, chairman and CEO, Aviat Networks. "With the cost reductions on target for Q4, and with the introduction of new products, systems and processes, we are prepared to move Aviat Networks forward again."

Polaris Wireless Selects GoAhead OpenSAFfire for Wireless Location Platform

Polaris Wireless, which supplies high-accuracy, software-based wireless location solutions, has selected GoAhead Software's OpenSAFfire to help ensure system uptime and uninterrupted service for the company's OmniLocate wireless location platform.

"With the increased focus on wireless location for public safety and mission critical applications, such as enhanced 911, leveraging standardized solutions like OpenSAFfire enables us to ensure the availability and reliability of the OmniLocate platform when it is most needed," said Zaheer Allam, senior vice-president of telecom products at Polaris Wireless. "In addition, GoAhead is providing us with a robust set of professional services and consulting to compress our development timelines even further. Their deep expertise in high availability technology and the adoption of their solutions by other industry leaders make GoAhead the natural choice."

Sandvine Lands 3 More Wireless ISPs for it Network Policy Control

Sandvine named three new wireless ISP customers using its network policy control platform: Alaska-based GCI, Michigan-based Thumb Cellular, and Carolina West Wireless.

Thumb Cellular is using Sandvine for the deployment of bandwidth-based service tiers, which allows them to provide 3G data services with a high degree of customer satisfaction. Thumb is also deploying Fairshare Traffic Management to ensure quality Internet access for their subscribers at all times of the day.

Carolina West Wireless, a North Carolina-based ISP that offers data and mobile services, is using Sandvine's network policy control solutions' device awareness capabilities to detect tethered devices.

"In today's dynamic broadband industry, Sandvine is proud to be able to meet the evolving needs of GCI, Thumb Cellular, and Carolina West Wireless with our flexible network policy control solutions," said Dave Caputo, President and CEO, Sandvine. "In working with all ISPs, our goal is to help defer CapEx, reduce OpEx and increase revenue through the introduction of new service offerings such as tethering detection and tiered billing services, while continuing to maintain a high-quality subscriber Internet experience."

cPacket Launches 10G Data Monitoring Switch

cPacket Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, introduced a new line of data monitoring switches that combine aggregation and replication with real time L2-L7 packet filtering, on-the-fly performance visibility, and built-in flow load balancing.

The cVu product family includes the cVu320G with 32 10-Gigabit ports, which was introduced in Interop last year; the cVu240G with 24 10-Gigabit ports; and the new cVu120G with 12 10-Gigabit ports.

"Our products inspect every bit in every packet and every flow at full line rate under any traffic conditions and can immediately trigger automatic actions based upon the observed data or key performance indicators," said Rony Kay, founder and CEO of cPacket.

The company said its new switches are particularly valuable for financial services and trading applications that need highly accurate latency measurement and optimization because they also support an optional Precision Timing Module for real time analysis of microbursts and for nanosecond resolution time stamping directly at the transceiver input. The accurate time stamping is coupled with cPacket's hardware and software clock-synchronization architecture, which facilitates precise measurement of applications latency and jitter. The performance counters and time stamps can be used as data feeds to a variety of commercial and open source tools.

PAETEC to Open Major Mid-Atlantic Data Center in Virginia

PAETEC announced plans for the deployment of a new data center in McLean, Va. The three-story building, which will include 49,000 square feet of raised floor space, will provide colocation services and geographic diversity to businesses and government entities along the East Coast and nationwide. The center also will support the shift to cloud computing as more business applications move towards advanced network-based services. The McLean center is planned to open at the end of 2011.

With the addition of McLean, PAETEC will have key data center facilities in Andover, Mass.; Bethlehem and Conshohocken, Pa.; Milwaukee, Houston, Phoenix, and Richmond, Va., augmenting its footprint of more than 100 physical colocation facilities nationwide.

Ixia Debuts Cloud Simulation Test Modules

Ixia introduced two modules for validating ultra-low latency for time-sensitive applications in data center cloud networks. The company's new Xcellon-Flex and ImpairNet modules use a single integrated chassis for data center cloud simulation.

Specifically, the Xcellon-Flex 10/40GE Accelerated Performance load module generates both east-west and north-south traffic flows that are characteristic of data center clouds, and measures whether switches can satisfy forwarding performance requirements. At the same time the new ImpairNet module simulates the latency that is inherent in wide area networks (WAN) between data center clouds, and validates whether the end-to-end performance is impacted by the delay within the WAN cloud. The ability to completely characterize the latency performance of data center clouds is critical for time-sensitive applications such as financial transactions, where even milliseconds of delay can results in a loss of thousands of dollars.

The Xcellon-Flex 10/40GE Accelerated Performance load module includes 16-ports of 10GE and 4-ports of 40GE in a single-slot, with mixed-speed operation for maximum ROI, multicore CPU to accelerate layer 2-7 performance, port CPU/memory aggregation for the industry's highest scaling solution, and full automation support for data center cloud traffic and protocols.

The ImpairNet test module includes four 1GE or four 10GE ports on a single XM module to achieve the industry's highest port density, full line rate impairment on all frame sizes, ultra-high latency simulation (at 600ms for 10GE and 6sec for 1GE), and integrated GUI traffic and impairment generation.

Cisco Announces Restructuring

Cisco outlined a business restructuring aimed at refocusing the company on the five areas driving the growth of networks and the Internet: core – routing, switching, and services; collaboration; data center virtualization and cloud; video; and architectures for business transformation.

Cisco announced the following changes:

Worldwide Field Operations will now be organized into three geographic regions: the Americas; Europe, Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific/Japan/Greater China. Dedicated teams will also focus on Enterprise (including large enterprise, public sector, commercial and small businesses), Service Provider, and Cisco Partners. Executive vice president Robert Lloyd will continue to lead the worldwide field operations and sales organization.

Cisco Services will organize around key customer segments and delivery models in alignment with Field Operations. Gary Moore, executive vice president and chief operating officer, will continue as leader of the services organization, in addition to his duties as COO.

Cisco Engineering will organize functionally to drive technology innovation, accountability and alignment across all five company priority areas. Senior vice president Pankaj Patel and senior vice president Padmasree Warrior will now co-lead the engineering organization. Within engineering, a dedicated Emerging Business Group will focus on select early-phase businesses and will be led by senior vice president Marthin De Beer, with continued focus on integrating the Medianet architecture for video across the company. The engineering organization under Patel and Warrior will continue to report to Gary Moore, COO.

Councils -- Cisco will refine its cross-functional Council structure to three councils: Enterprise, Service Provider and Emerging Countries. These councils will serve to further strengthen the connection between strategy and execution across functional groups. Resource allocation and profitability targets will move to the sales and engineering leadership teams which will have accountability and direct responsibility for business results.

The majority of these changes will take place over the next 120 days, with the new Sales organization in place at the start of Cisco's fiscal 2012 (July 31, 2011).

"Cisco is focused on making a series of changes throughout the next quarter and as we enter the new fiscal year that will make it easier to work for and with Cisco, as we focus our portfolio, simplify operations and manage expenses," said Gary Moore, COO. "Our five company priorities are for a reason—they are the five drivers of the future of the network, and they define what our customers know Cisco is uniquely able to provide for their business success. The new operating model will enable Cisco to execute on the significant market opportunities of the network and empower our sales, service and engineering organizations."

"Cisco has driven transformational change before, and we are again transitioning to the next stage of the company's evolution," said Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers. "Today, the market is driving toward simplification and it's why the network matters. Our role as the leading network platform provider is strong, we have great customers, talent and expertise—and we know how to bring innovation to every aspect of the network. It's time to simplify the way we execute our strategy, and today's announcement is a key step forward."

Telco Systems Names New CEO

Telco Systems, a BATM company, named Itzik Weinstein as its new Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Weinstein was President and CEO of ECtel, a provider of revenue management solutions to the telecommunications

industry. He has also held senior positions with VocalTec, NetManage, KLA-Tencor Corp., Scitex Corp., and Intel.

The appointment of Weinstein comes on the heels of Telco Systems' acquisition of ANDA Networks last month and the launch of set of new MPLS and mobile backhaul solutions.

France's Completel selects Alcatel-Lucent's 100G

Completel, which delivers Fiber To The Office (FTTO) services in France, will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's 100G optical technology on new and existing routes to boost network capacity and performance.

Alcatel-Lucent's 100G solution is part of its Converged Backbone Transformation (CBT) approach which integrates IP and optical transport technologies. It is based on Alcatel-Lucent's 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) that leverages future-proof coherent technology to allow real-time provisioning of advanced multimedia services. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide Completel with technical supervision and training services.

"With the popularity of videoconferencing, enterprise customers expect that the solutions offered can bring greater quality, speed and reliability," said Thierry Podolak, chief executive officer for Completel. "Alcatel-Lucent's 100G solution will help us keep our leading position in France's Very high-speed market and meet our customers' growing demands."

BTI Adds Network Caching Support for Netflix Video Delivery

BTI Systems has updated the adaptive bit rate protocol support in its WideCast content-aware networking platform to ensure smooth delivery of Netflix content.

BTI Systems said its WideCast upgrade enables service providers can gain control of accelerating traffic growth in metro networks by transparently caching many content types, including Netflix, by serving it closer to the user instead of streaming it across increasingly congested networks.

"Given North America's strong adoption of OTT media distribution, we are committed to ensuring our customers stay ahead of the curve with innovative solutions," said Gary Southwell, CTO, BTI Systems. "The addition of Netflix support is just one of the upgrades we are making to our networking infrastructure to provide our customers with a powerful tool which manages and monetizes the delivery of OTT services flowing across their networks."