Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Verizon Wireless LTE Road Ahead: 35% of Data Now on LTE

Currently 35% of data traffic handled by Verizon Wireless is carried over the LTE and the company expects to pass the 50% milestone soon, said Nicola Palmer, vice president of network and chief technical officer for Verizon, speaking at MobilCon in San Diego.

Palmer announced that Verizon Wireless is running ahead of schedule in its LTE rollout. By next week, the service will be available in 417 markets across the United States, covering about 75% of the population.  So far, the company has introduced 37 4G LTE-enabled devices, including smartphones, tablets, personal Wi-Fi hotspots and more since the network launched 22 months ago.

Palmer said the iPhone 5 introduction has gone smoothly and that the company was prepared for the expected surge on the LTE network.

Some other notes:
  • Verizon Wireless expects to start using its new AWS spectrum in some cities by the middle of 2013 using its same cell sites. Technical trials are underway.
  • Verizon Wireless is looking forward to LTE-Advanced as one of many tools for managing capacity on the network. The same is true for small cell architecture.
  • Seventeen carriers have signed-up for the companies LTE in Rural America program.
  • 11 million customers were on the LTE network as of the end of September
  • LTE is coming into the home via the carrier's HomeFusion Broadband solution.
  • VoLTE tests have been underway for a while and the company has deployed equipment to support this capability.  The company is excited about Rich Communications Services and HD voice.  Commercial launch is possible by the end of next year but no date has been given.

Seaborn's Seabras-1 Cable Picks Alcatel-Lucent for 100G

Seaborn Networks awarded a turnkey contract to Alcatel-Lucent to build a 10,700 km submarine cable system between the U.S. and Brazil capable of supporting 100G wavelengths.

The 100G Seabras-1 system will deliver new capacity on the primary route between New York and Sao Paulo in Brazil, with a branch to Fortaleza, Brazil. Seaborn Networks and Alcatel-Lucent have already commenced the permit acquisition and marine survey work for the project. Alcatel-Lucent will provide an integrated 100G wet plant of cable and high bandwidth repeaters, power feed equipment, and its 1620 Light Manager (LM) submarine line terminal equipped with advanced coherent technology and offering unique flexibility to increase direct connectivity between countries. Financial terms were not disclosed.

“Seabras-1 will be the first direct route between New York and Sao Paulo and also the longest 100G transoceanic link to date. Once deployed, it will contribute with other ongoing initiatives to enhance trans-continental connectivity, for the benefit of the global consumer and business community,” said Philippe Dumont, President of Alcatel-Lucent Submarine Networks.


Cyan's SDN-Enabled OTN Fabric Redefines Metro Networks Without Routers

Cyan introduced a multi-terabit packet and G.709 optical transport network (OTN) switch fabric for its Z-Series packet-optical metro transport platform.  The new card enables router bypass in metro software-defined networks (SDNs) while supporting both Ethernet and OTN. 

Cyan said its approach makes sense because the vast majority of metro traffic is transit, with static connections that do not require higher layer routing.  Therefore, using routers across the metro only adds complexity and cost.  Cyan's multi-layer uses a SDN control plane for planning, operations and validation.

The switching fabric scales to over 4 million pps of throughput performance. The platform design allows for up to 200 Gbps per slot, enabling a range of 10G, 1G and ODUflex services. Cyan's Z77 platform offers 14 slots for 2.8 Tbps of capacity.

"Routers play an important role in the network, but the majority of services do not require routing and can be offloaded to reduce costs and simplify operations. Our Z-Series platforms and SDN software are helping more than 100 service providers around the world achieve these goals in a variety of applications," said Michael Hatfield, president at Cyan.


Alcatel-Lucent's "Zero Touch Vectoring" Boosts VDSL2 Business Model

Alcatel-Lucent introduced new signal processing software developed by Bell Labs that promises to shake up the business model for VDSL2.

The new ‘Zero Touch Vectoring’capability eliminates the need to upgrade every CPE in a copper node whenever the first customer opts for faster broadband access delivered over a VDSL2 vectored line.  Previously, a carrier choosing to deploy VDSL2 Vectoring was required to upgrade every modem on the network in order to properly handle the crosstalk elimination.

Alcatel-Lucent introduced the first commercial VDSL2 Vectoring solution in September 2011, delivering 100 Mbps over existing copper loop lengths of 400 meters.  VDSL2 vectoring uses digital signal processing to remove crosstalk between copper pairs in a bundle, similar to noise cancellation in headphones. From line cards at the central office or DSLAM, the system measures the crosstalk from all the lines in the bundle and then generates an anti-phase signal to cancel out the noise.  Alcatel-Lucent developed its own chipset and software.  The VDSL2 vectoring is delivered via  a 48-port Board Level Vectoring card, a 48-port System Level Vectoring card, and a Vector Processing card supporting up to 384 ports.

Alcatel-Lucent said it now has 6 commercial contracts for VDSL2 vectoring.  The first live network is with Telekom Austria, which is using the technology in a suburb of Vienna.

Dave Geary, head of Alcatel-Lucent’s Wireline activities, said: “Trials with leading service providers have shown that VDSL2 Vectoring can effectively deliver the kinds of speeds it promised, and we are now starting to engage in mass-market deployments. With our Zero-Touch Vectoring and other innovations we are eliminating the final barriers that service providers around the world have faced – enabling them to deliver higher bandwidths to more subscribers, now.”

Equinix Activates 3rd Data Center in Amsterdam

 Equinix announced full operational activation of its third International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Amsterdam.

AM3 Science Park is situated in one of Europe’s most network-dense locations. It houses Internet exchanges such as AMS-IX and NL-ix and is able to reach 80 percent of Europe within 50 milliseconds. 
The AM3 data center offers 17,800 m² of gross space with capacity for 2,800 cabinets.  The facility uses Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES) in the ground instead of mechanical cooling, excess heat will be used to warm the buildings nearby. .
Equinix also highlights platform of services available in its IBXs, including the ability to interconnect with leading carrier networks, Internet exchanges, content and cloud providers.
“Green IT and energy efficiency are increasingly becoming decisive factors for organizations when choosing a data center. Environmental legislation is becoming more stringent and energy costs are rising, as is the importance that consumers and companies attach to sustainability,” commented Michiel Eielts, director, Equinix Netherlands. “Equinix is committed to building sustainable data centers throughout the world. We are particularly proud of AM3 for pushing the boundaries on new levels of innovation and sustainability.”

Telx Launches Data Center Connect to the Cloud

Telx, which operates major co-location facilities in New York City, Chicago, Dallas, California and other locations, will begin offering a Datacenter Connect service linking its Cloud Connection Centers (C3).
The virtual fabric extends Telx’s model of interconnection within facilities and metros to enable seamless connections between facilities.  The idea is to enable rapid connect services to various carrier and cloud services services.
For example, the new Telx Datacenter Connect service allows clients to interconnect with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Direct Connect from within the Telx data center, establishing a private network connection that can reduce network costs, increase throughput and security while also providing more consistent network performance than “best-efforts” networks.   This provides the ability to efficiently transfer large data volumes into and out of AWS. 
Datacenter Connect will offer flexible sub-GigE speeds with month-to-month billing.  
“Our services are a perfect fit for a low-bandwidth fabric that allows us to virtualize across a large geography, Telx’s Datacenter Connect is a valuable enabler for our business solutions,” said Dan Dwyer, managing partner, Trading Continuity Services, a leader in the Data Protection and Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity industry. “In the past we had to rely upon purchasing high-bandwidth services with long-term service commitments, but this product offers us the flexibility to deploy services to customers for trials and proofs of concept and later migrate them to even larger dedicated carrier services as the relationship grows. Such a flexible service model really helps client adoption of our products.”

Big Switch Names VP of Marketing, VP of Sales

Big Switch Networks announced two key appointments.

Jason Matlof joins Big Switch Networks as VP of Marketing.  Matlof previously was an investor and Partner at Battery Ventures.  He started his career in the mid-1990s at Cisco Systems, where he managed the product management team for the company’s multi-billion dollar family of fixed-configuration Catalyst switches.  He also served with Neoteris and NetScreen Technologies (acquired by Juniper).  
Dave Butler joins Big Switch Networks as VP of Sales.  Previously, he was VP of Sales and Business Development at Aruba Networks, leading up to a multi-billion dollar IPO. He was also VP of International Sales at FORE Systems and also led FORE’s Federal subsidiary after supporting US intelligence agencies with expertise in real-time networking, multi-data center supercomputing, and global information dissemination. Dave was also VP of Sales at Berkeley Networks, VP of Sales at Fast Forward and most recently VP of Worldwide Sales at VSS Monitoring, leading the company’s sales growth prior to its acquisition by Danaher Corporation.

Russia's MegaFON Readies IPO

MegaFon, which is Russia's second largest mobile operator, is preparing plans to launch an initial public offering of its shares on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Russia’s MICEX – RTS. 

MegaFon currently serves about 63 million subscribers. In addition to its GSM 900/1800 network in Russia, MegaFon also has subsidiaries in Tajikistan, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.


Symantec Enhances Enterprise Mobility Solutions

Symantec has expanded its enterprise mobility solutions with two new programs – the App Center Ready Program, which helps developers rapidly build trusted enterprise apps with no code changes, and the Mobility Solution Specialization Program for channel partners.

Symantec now offers a mobile suite spanning device management, application management and mobile security.

The Symantec App Center Ready Program allows mobile application developers to embed Symantec’s security and management features, such as encryption, authentication, data loss prevention policies, app distribution and revocation, into their apps without changing their source code.  Symantec supports both iOS and Android.

Symantec is announcing a dedicated mobility channel specialization program that will allow partners to offer Symantec’s enterprise mobility products to their customers. The Mobility Solution Specialization will cover the full Symantec Mobile Management Suite and will provide partners with access to opportunity registration, expert resources, enablement programs, and accreditations in a multi-tier model. 

“Organizations are looking for applications, partners and products they can depend on to confidently achieve their business objectives,” said Anil Chakravarthy, senior vice president, Enterprise Security Group, Symantec. “By consolidating our portfolio into one suite that is priced per user, not by device, we help IT organizations increase employee mobility and productivity without compromising protection with a straightforward, predictable deployment model. We are pleased to move to a licensing model that takes into account the reality companies are facing of two or more devices per employee.”

Symantec is also announcing the availability of Symantec Mobile Management Suite, a single solution that covers mobile device management, mobile application management and mobile security. This new suite can be deployed on a per-user meter with both subscription and perpetual pricing models. T