Thursday, March 22, 2012

Australia's NBN Bars Huawei

Australia’s National Broadband Network reportedly has barred Huawei Technologies from bidding on elements of the project on national security grounds. The Australian and other news sources reported cited government concerns about cyber attacks emanating from the China.

Nokia Siemens Networks Announces Agreement with Union

Nokia Siemens Networks announced an agreement with IG Metall Trade Union under which the company would remain a major employer in Munich. The agreement, proposed by IG Metall, call for approximately 2,000 jobs to remain in Munich, while the St.-Martin-Strasse site, which currently hosts 3,600 employees, would be closed as initially planned.

Nokia Siemens Networks is prepared to accept the IG Metall proposal if a significant majority of the approximately 1,600 positions planned to be reduced in Munich agree to join an interim employment company before the end of April 2012.
  • In November 2011, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a worldwide restructuring plan involving a reduction of 17,000 positions.

  • In late January 2012, Nokia Siemens Networks made known its intention to cut approximately 2,900 of its then approximately 9,100 jobs in Germany.

CenturyLink to Adopt New Operating Group Structure

CenturyLink announced a corporate restructuring under which it will consolidate its organizations focused on its business and government customer segments into two organizations. National and international Business Markets Group (BMG) customers, all Savvis customers and federal government customers will now be served by the Enterprise Markets Group (EMG). In-region large business customers and state and local government customers will be served by the existing Regional Markets Group (RMG). The Wholesale Markets Group (WMG) will remain in its current form.

FCC and ISPs Adopt Three Cyber Security Recommendations

The FCC and the nation's largest ISPs agreed to voluntarily adopt recommendations that address three top cyber-security concerns: attacks on the Domain Name System (DNS), and Internet route

The FCC's Communications, Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), which unanimously approved the recommendations, includes AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile, Verizon, among others.

Specifically, the advisory committee endorsed industry-based recommendations in each of
these three areas,

Anti-Bot Code of Conduct -- To reduce the threat of botnets in residential networks, CSRIC recommended a voluntary U.S. Anti-Bot Code of Conduct for Internet Service Providers (Anti-Bot Code). Under the Anti-Bot Code, ISPs agree to educate consumers about the botnet threat, take steps to detect botnet activity on their networks, make consumers aware of botnet infections on their computers, offer assistance to consumers whose computers are infected and collaborate with other service providers that have also adopted the Anti-Bot Code.

DNS Best Practices -- CSRIC recommended that ISPs implement best practices to better secure the Domain Name System by using DNSSEC, a set of secure protocol extensions that prevent such fraudulent activity. This recommendation is a significant first step toward full DNSSEC implementation by ISPs and will allow users, with software applications like browsers, to validate that the destination they are trying to reach is authentic and not a spoofed website.

IP Route Hijacking Industry Framework -- CSRIC recommended an industry framework to prevent Internet route hijacking, which is the erroneous routing of Internet traffic through potentially untrustworthy networks. CSRIC recommended that ISPs work to implement new technologies and practices to reduce the number of these events, thereby ensuring that users in the U.S. can be more confident that their Internet traffic will not be exposed to scrutiny by other networks, foreign or domestic, through misrouting.

EXFO Cites Momentum for Its FTB-880 NetBlazer

EXFO announced today that since the launch of the FTB-880 NetBlazer eight months ago, 10 of the world's 15 largest operators have chosen this modular multiservice tester for their deployments. The flagship FTB-880 is a portable multiservice test module designed for all DSn/PDH, SONET/SDH and Ethernet packet-based services transmitted at various rates, from low speeds up to 10G.

NTT DOCOMO Tops 2 Million LTE Subscribers

NTT DOCOMO has passed the 2 million subscriber milestone for its Xi (pronounced "crossy") LTE mobile service.

Xi launched on December 24, 2010 and reached one million subscribers one year later on December 25, 2011. Since then, subscriptions have doubled to two million in just three months, propelled by the introduction of the first Xi-compatible smartphones in November 2011.

In the coming months, DOCOMO plans to introduce additional Xi-compatible smartphones, tablets and data-communication devices and mobile Wi-Fi routers, as well as beneficial services, such as Xi Talk 24, which enables free, unlimited voice calls between DOCOMO users of Xi-compatible smartphones.

AT&T Links T-Mobile USA Layoffs to Failed Merger Bid

AT&T issued a statement linking T-Mobile USA's recent decision to close seven call centers to the regulatory policy that blocked its proposed acquisition of the carrier.

“Yesterday, T-Mobile made the sad announcement that it would be closing seven call centers, laying off thousands of workers, and that more layoff announcements may follow. Normally, we’d not comment on something like this. But I feel this is an exception for one big reason– only a few months ago AT&T promised to preserve these very same call centers and jobs if our merger was approved. We also predicted that if the merger failed, T-Mobile would be forced into major layoffs.

“At that time, the current FCC not only rejected our pledges and predictions, they also questioned our credibility. The FCC argued that the merger would cost jobs, not preserve them, and that rejecting it would save jobs. In short, the FCC said they were right, we were wrong, and did so in an aggressive and adamant way.

“Rarely are a regulatory agency’s predictive judgments proven so wrong so fast. But for the government’s decision, centers now being closed would be staying open, workers now facing layoffs would have job guarantees, and communities facing turmoil would have security. Only a few months later, the truth of who was right is sadly obvious..." stated Jim Cicconi, AT&T Senior Executive Vice President of External and Legislative Affairs.

Orange Charts its 4G Rollout

Orange outlined plans to rollout LTE in its home market of France. An upgrade to HSPA+ has been undertaken in recent months.

In September 2011, ARCEP, the office telecoms regulator in France, awarded LTE licences to four operators to use the 2.6 GHz frequency band. Orange France won a duplex frequency block of 20 MHz, for which the company bid the sum of €287,118,501. The company also holds 800 MHz spectrum. Orange said this position will enable it to deliver rates of up to 150 Mbps downlink.

Marseille has been selected as the first Orange 4G pilot city. After the experimental deployment of 4G in a number of areas of the city, other cities will follow. Orange will be deploying its H+ technology and testing its 4G network in Marseille and the surrounding region with Alcatel-Lucent.

Meanwhile, Orange has tripled the speed of its 3G+ network by upgrading HSPA+ for downlinks of up to 42 Mbps.
More than 50 % of the population has been covered by this new technology since 24 November 2011, including 40 major urban centres such as Paris, Chambéry, Clermont Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Nice, Saint-Etienne, Toulon, Marseille, Montpellier and Perpignan.

By end 2012, Orange HSPA+ coverage this coverage is exptected to reach 60% of the population with the addition of cities such as Bordeaux, Nancy, Metz, Strasbourg, Toulouse and Angoulême.

Video: Future, Flexible Hybrid Wireless/Optical Networks

The wireless and optical domains are being driven closer together, especially as cell sizes get smaller and coordinated transmission techniques become possible. In this interview, Dr. Leonid Kazovsky, Professor (Research) of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, discusses future network architecture and the integration between optical and wireless technology.

Some key topics covered in this interview:

0:00 Work underway on hybrid wireless/optical architecture at Stanford's Photonics and Networking Research Laboratory

4:00 Coordinated multi-point transmission schemes

4:50 Intelligence in the network or the base station?

7:20 Orchestrating users and capacity

08:59 Network Design and the Moving Target

12:00 Software-defined networking (SDN) and the hybrid wireless/optical challenge

13:32 Opportunities to improve energy efficiency in the network

Prof. Leonid G. Kazovsky joined Stanford University in 1990. He founded Photonics and Networking Research Laboratory (PNRL) at Stanford University and leads PNRL since establishing it in 1990. PNRL team includes some fifteen researchers focused on green (energy efficient) optical/wireless access and in-building networks.

Prior to joining Stanford, Prof. Kazovsky was with Bellcore doing research on coherent, WDM, high-speed and other advanced optical fiber communication systems (later, Bellcore changed its name to Telcordia, and was acquired by Ericsson). Prof. Kazovsky's research of coherent optical systems at that time resulted in what is widely considered key foundations of modern coherent systems.

While on Bellcore assignments or Stanford sabbaticals, Prof. Kazovsky worked at the Heinrich Hertz Institute, Berlin, Germany; Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories, Bristol, England; Technical University of Eindhoven, Eindhoven, the Netherland; Scuola Superiore St. Anne, Pisa, Italy; Danish Technical University, Copenhagen, Denmark; and Acreo, Stockholm, Sweden.

Through research contracts, consulting engagements, and other arrangements, Prof. Kazovsky worked with many industrial companies and U.S. Government agencies including Corning, Alcatel-Lucent, Sprint, DT, Huawei, DEC, GTE, AT&T, IVP, Lucent, Hitachi, KDD, Furukawa, Fujitsu, Optivision, and Perimeter on the industrial side; and NSF, DARPA, Air Force, Navy, Army, and BMDO on the government side. He also worked extensively with many leading VCs and intellectual property law firms.

Prof. Kazovsky serves or served on Editorial Boards of leading journals (IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, Wireless Networks) and on Program Committees of leading conferences (OFC, CLEO, LEOS, SPIE, and GLOBECOM). He also served as a reviewer for various IEEE and IEE Transactions, Proceedings, and Journals; funding agencies (NSF, OFC, ERC, NRC, etc.) and publishers (Wiley, MacMillan, etc.). Recently, Prof. Kazovsky organized several workshops on hybrid optical/wireless networks at OFC and WCNC; he also co-edited a Special Issue of the IEEE Network Magazine on Next Generation Optical Access Networks.

Prof. Kazovsky authored or co-authored three books, three book chapters, fifty five invited journal papers and invited conference talks, some 200 journal technical papers, and some 300 conference papers. His latest book, Broadband Optical Access Networks, was published by John Wiley & Sons in 2011.

Prof. Kazovsky is a Fellow of IEEE and a Fellow of OSA.