Thursday, September 13, 2012

Telefónica Secures US$1.2 Billion in Loans from China

Telefónica secured US$1.2 billion in credit with China Development Bank and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. BBVA acted as Facility Agent for the ten year loan.

Telefónica said the purpose of the credit is for the purchasing of products and solutions by Telefónica group worldwide.

AT&T's Website Offline for Hours Ahead of iPhone 5

AT&T took its entire U.S. website offline hours ahead of the midnight (PT) commencement of iPhone 5 sales.  Customers log-in to existing accounts remained open.

The online Apple store also went offline ahead of the launch.

ADVA Optical Networking Joins ONF

ADVA Optical Networking has joined the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) to help drive the development and standardization of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) and OpenFlow protocols.

"SDN presents the networking industry with a real opportunity to drive radical new efficiencies," said Christoph Glingener, CTO at ADVA Optical Networking. "SDN and OpenFlow are already proving themselves inside the data center. By extending SDN beyond physical data center boundaries into the optical networking domain you can effectively automate your entire cloud networking infrastructure including the transport equipment interconnecting different sites. This type of holistic network virtualization is exciting; it’s something we've already demonstrated with our OpenFlow technology. Our partnership with the ONF will only accelerate our work here."

Altera Announces 100G OTN Chip

Altera announced a single-chip, multi-rate OTN (optical transport network) muxponder solution for 100G network aggregation.

The new device is based on Altera’s 28-nm high-performance Stratix V FPGA, which enables developers to integrate emerging client types into their networks, such as 16G Fibre Channel.

The proliferation of 10G ports and the acceleration of networks from 40G towards 100G is driving operators to look for ways to minimize operational complexity by aggregating both legacy clients as well as 10G and 40G feeder networks into 100G for high-capacity transport.

Altera said its multi-rate muxponder solution addresses both data center and transport aggregation by flexibly supporting emerging clients, such as 16G Fibre Channel and 40G Ethernet along with various 10G clients.

"Altera's comprehensive portfolio of FPGA-based OTN solutions have been selected by eight of the top ten optical OEMs," said Dan Mansur, director of Altera’s communications division. “With our latest multi-rate muxponder IP solution, customers can customize their systems and target FPGA architectures that are optimized for their specific design requirements."

Alcatel-Lucent Wins Network Management Contract with Telefónica

Telefónica has awarded a landmark contract to Alcatel-Lucent to overhaul the operator’s network management systems – enabling it to streamline its operations, improve the quality of services for its customers and optimize costs, while leveraging the capacities developed by Telefónica. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will combine the network management systems at the core of Telefonica’s operational support systems into a single, global software platform. Currently, Telefónica uses different operational processes in the many countries in which it operates. Alcatel-Lucent will help standardize both software and procedures for network management across Telefonica’s fixed and mobile networks.

Federico Guillén, President Alcatel-Lucent Spain and Global Account Manager for Telefónica said: “We are proud of the trust that Telefónica has placed in us to help transform their operations and improve their services to customers. We bring a great deal of experience to this challenge and are excited to have the opportunity to work with Telefónica to identify and implement the best possible processes and to industrialize this know-how across the globe."

AT&T Mobility Reaches Labor Deal Covering 40,000 Workers

AT&T Mobility announced a tentative agreement with the Communications Workers of America in benefits negotiations covering more than 40,000 employees nationwide.

Some key points of the four-year tentative agreement:
  • For employees hired on or before Dec. 31, 2012, monthly premiums for individual coverage would be $38 for 2013, $61 for 2014, $69 for 2015 and $82 for 2016. For these same employees, monthly premiums for family coverage would be $81 for 2013, $127 for 2014, $142 for 2015 and$169 for 2016.  New hires would pay a higher premium.  Deductibles for network care would be$500 for individual coverage and $1,000 for family coverage in each year of the contract
  • Establishment of a new Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) for qualified employees hired on or before Dec. 31, 2012. The company would provide $500 contributions into each of these employee's HRAs in 2013 and 2014.
  • In the third year of the agreement, a Success Sharing Plan tied to AT&T stock would allow employees an opportunity to share in the company's success.

Intel Developer Forum --"Connecting to the Future"

Intel is developing an all-digital radio that follows Moore’s Law by scaling in area and energy efficiency with such digital chip processes as Intel’s latest 22nm tri-gate technology. The all digital Wi-Fi radio system-on-chip designs targets smartphones, tablets and new wearable devices.

Some other areas highlighted in the Intel Developer Forum 2012 keynote by Justin Rattner, Director, Intel Labs and Intel Chief Technology Officer:

WiGig -- 60 GHz wireless technology capable of 5 Gbps performance

Intel Smart Connect technology -- wakes up an Ultrabook just long enough to receive the incoming packet traffic and then it goes back into standby mode to ensure long battery life.

Client Based Authentication Technology - using biometrics via a smartphone to provide network access.

C-RAN -- Intel Labs is collaborating with China Mobile to design and prototype a full-scale Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN).Dr. Chih-Lin I, chief scientist at the China Mobile Research Institute in Beijing, explained that C-RAN technology could reduce both capital and operational expenses for wireless service providers while providing superior levels of wireless services to users with fewer dropped connections during periods of peak demand.

VWN -- Intel Labs is engaged in another project Video Aware Wireless Network (VAWN), where both service providers and end users will benefit from the latest wireless research. VAWN aims to increase the streaming video capacity of wireless networks while improving the viewing experience by optimizing network performance on an end-to-end basis. Cisco and Verizon are partners with Intel of the VAWN project.

LANautilus Undersea Upgrades to 40G with Ciena

The Latin American Nautilus (LANautilus) undersea cable system, which links stations in South, Central and North America with Telecom Italia’s Sparkle Global Backbone, has been upgraded with Ciena’s coherent 40G optical networking solutions. The upgrade effectively quadruples the capacity along this key undersea cable.
LANautilus is part of the Telecom Italia Sparkle Group and operates as a wholesale telecommunications service provider that delivers managed bandwidth, Internet/IP transit and co-location services to carrier and enterprise customers across its 30,000 km fiber optic ring.

LANautilus is using Ciena’s 6500 Packet-Optical Platform equipped with WaveLogic coherent optical line interfaces. Ciena’s OneControl Unified Management System will deliver seamless end-to-end management across the 6500 and Common Photonic Layer (CPL) platforms providing LANautilus with all the tools needed for efficient multi-layer service activation, assurance, SLA monitoring, and accurate management of the dynamic nature of an intelligent network.

Microsoft Tracks Nitol Botnet Pre-installed in Factory

A Microsoft investigation found that cybercriminals have infiltrated unsecure supply chains to introduce counterfeit Windows software embedded with malware at factories in China.  Microsoft's Operation b70, which stemmed from the study, tracked retailers who were selling computers loaded with counterfeit versions of Windows software embedded with the the Nitol botnet. 

Microsoft has just won a restraining order in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, granting it permission to take over the hosting of the domain, which hosted the Nitol botnet.  Microsoft’s newly created domain name system (DNS) enables it to block operation of the Nitol botnet and nearly 70,000 other malicious subdomains hosted on the domain, while allowing all other traffic for the legitimate subdomains to operate without disruption.

The case is documented in a blog posting on the Microsoft site.

Telecom Facilities Destroyed in N. Nigeria

A number of mobile masts and base stations in northern Nigeria were destroyed last week in attacks attributed to Boko Haram, a jihadist militant organization. According to, companies suffering damage in the attacks included MTN, Glo, Airtel, Etisalat, Multilinks, and telecoms infrastructure provider, Helios Towers.