Monday, December 3, 2012

Nokia Siemens to sell Optical Business to Marlin Equity Partners

Nokia Siemens Networks will sell its Optical Networks business unit to Marlin Equity Partners for an undisclosed sum.

Marlin, a Los Angeles California-based private investment firm with over US$1 billion of capital under management, will form a new optical company to be headquartered in Munich, Germany with operations around the world.  This new optical company will be led by its existing management team with Herbert Merz nominated as chief executive officer.

Up to 1,900 employees – mainly in Germany, Portugal and China – from the optical business unit and related functions are expected to transfer to the new company.  The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2013.

NSN's optical networking unit is known for its long-haul and ultra-long-haul transmission platform.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the deal is another step in its transformation into a mobile broadband specialist.

“During 2012 Nokia Siemens Networks has made tremendous progress in the transformation of our company to being the world’s mobile broadband specialist. Our strategic focus on our core markets has enabled us to concentrate our energy and investment in areas such as LTE where we have strengthened our global leadership position,” said Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer at Nokia Siemens Networks. “This transaction builds on that momentum and aims to provide a new home for the Optical Networks business with the focus, resources and strategic flexibility to address the opportunities in the optical market.”

In October, Marlin Equity Partners acquired  Sycamore Networks' Intelligent Bandwidth Management business, which includes optical networking and multiservice access solutions deployed in fixed line and mobile networks around the world.

Broadcom Samples 28nm Knowledge-based Processor

Broadcom introduced its eigth generation knowledge-based processor for high-touch packet services in 3G/4G mobile mobile infrastructure, data center and enterprise platforms.

The Broadcom NLA12000 Series, which is the first to use 28 nanometer (nm) technology, offers significantly faster performance for increased classification, forwarding
and security processing throughout the network -- the company cites up to 24x greater performance than competing solutions.  The latest processor is also aimed at emerging applications, including Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Open Flow, in routers, switches, service gateways, security appliances and mobile infrastructure equipment.

Significantly, Broadcom said its NLA12000 Series KBPs breaks new ground by integrating low-power NetRoute algorithmic search technology in a heterogeneous manner.  This enables deterministic performance and low latency independent of database or signature complexity, with support for up to 2 million IPv6 routes.

The 28nm process technology also unlocks significant power savings.

Some other key features:

  • The new chip handles up to 2.4 billion decisions per second (BDPS) to address growing line rates for IPv4 and IPv6 packets.
  • High-speed serial links for enhanced communication from KBP to system packet processors 
  • Includes 12.5 Gbps SerDes for 300 Gbps aggregate bandwidth
  • Dual-port mode for off-the shelf network processors, FPGAs and customer ASICs
  • Improved search flexibility with Context Buffers and Key Processing Unit (KPU)
  • Range Encoding Engine (REE) delivers efficient database compaction for access control lists
  • Support for on-chip associated data for search tables to enable lowest system latency 

Sampling is underway with production volumes slated for 1H 2013.

Altobridge Sees Backhaul Savings with Data-at-the-Edge

Altobridge confirmed the deployment of its Data-at-the-Edge (DatE) content delivery architecture by a Tier One wireless network operator in Asia.

The Altobridge Data-at-the-Edge platform enables data passing between an operator’s core network and the radio base station to be identified, managed and optimized at a granular level.

Altobridge said its customer is able to achieve savings of over 40% in mobile broadband backhaul costs.

“The Altobridge DatE deployment is showing real evidence that intelligent management and ‘On- loading’ of content at the base station can have the levels of impact on cost reduction and improved QoE that mobile network operators require in order to handle the big data challenge,” said Mike Fitzgerald, Chief Executive, Altobridge. “There is an urgent need for a technology that reduces backhaul costs and improves QoE.  Data-at-the-Edge is the solution to these challenges. In addition, it opens-up new revenue generating opportunities for network operators and content providers, through new and innovative business models, such as revenue sharing from pre-positioned rich media content."

Altobridge is headquartered in Ireland and has further bases in; USA, China, Malaysia and Indonesia covering sales, R&D, customer support and manufacturing. Investors in the company include its employees, Intel Capital, IFC and Enterprise Ireland.

Cortina Debuts 28nm EDC PHY for Next Wave of Network Gear

Cortina Systems introduced its 28nm EDC PHY architecture designed to enable higher port counts and increased faceplate and backplane bandwidth for next generation data center, carrier and enterprise systems.  Significantly, Cortina's 28nm EDC PHY architecture also supports 100G and even 400G applications in data center, storage and high-performance computing.

Cortina's first product in this family is an Octal 15G Electronic Dispersion Compensation (EDC) device featuring less than 1 nsec latency in a 17mm x 17mm package. The device operates over a frequency range from 1 to 15Gbps, supporting 1GbE, 10GbE, 40GbE, 100GbE, InfiniBand,  Fibre Channel, CPRI and OBSAI.  This includes supporting 16G Fibre Channel.

Cortina said the 28nm technology lowers power consumption by 50% over previous generations.  

The device, which is already sampling, is fully compliant to 10G SFP+, 802.3ba 40G and 100G nPPI, and nAUI specifications. It does not require external processors to control the convergence or dynamic adaption of the dispersion compensation. The CS4343 also integrates the auto-negotiation and coefficient training functionality for 40G CR4 applications, and rate negotiation 16G Fibre channel, for seamless interoperability with existing equipment.

“Data centers are being upgraded to handle the exponential growth in bandwidth. System vendors are looking for solutions to meet restrictive size, power, and density constraints,” said Scott Feller, director at Cortina Systems, Inc.  “28nm technology enables Cortina to develop a base platform architecture that meets system vendor requirements today and in the future while keeping a small foot print, increasing the supported data rate to 15G, while reducing power consumption by 50% over current production parts.”

Compromised Security Would Cause Mobile Customers to Jump Ship

Compromised security – more than high monthly fees – would be the biggest catalyst for triggering users to change mobile network providers, according to an independent survey conducted by market research firm Opinion Matters on behalf of Crossbeam Systems. More than 1,000 adult smartphone users were polled in each country to examine usage habits, the importance of mobile security and data services, purchasing considerations, and what would motivate them to switch providers.

According to the survey, 63 percent of global respondents cite high monthly fees as the primary issue that would drive them away from their current mobile network provider, with only five percent citing a lack of security. However, if survey respondents’ smartphones were to be compromised by hackers, malware or other security failures, 55 percent would consider changing providers and 19 percent would definitely change providers – leading to a potential exodus of 74 percent of customers.

Crossbeam Systems said this finding should challenge network providers’ conventional thinking about their investment priorities.  Most operators today are focused on building out mobile broadband infrastructure as the top priority, with less emphasis on shoring up their security infrastructure and offering value-added security services and protection to end users and their devices. The vulnerability is that users could blame the network operator for a smart phone attack even though they are not at fault.

"Smartphone users, like most people, don’t think about the security of their devices until they’ve been hacked. This may be misleading mobile network operators to focus less of their attention on customer security and underestimate the risk it creates,” said Peter Doggart, senior director of global marketing at Crossbeam. “There is an inadequate level of investment in security compared to other areas of the mobile network. This is a wake-up call for service providers, especially as we’re reaching a critical mass of smartphone users worldwide, not to mention the growth of data-enabled endpoints connecting to mobile phone networks, including smartphones, tablets, e-book readers and more. The quantity of threats directed at mobile devices and their level of sophistication are on the rise.”

The full survey report is available online.

Marvell Develops 802.11ac 4x4

Marvell introduced the first 802.11ac 4x4 wireless local area network (WLAN) system-on-chip (SoC), offering up to 1.3 Gbps of Wi-Fi throughput.

The Marvell Avastar 88W8864 is designed to improve the throughput of enterprise and retail access points (APs) and the robustness of wireless video distribution.


  • 4x4 MIMO dual-band 802.11ac solution
  • 1.3Gbps WLAN PHY rate
  • Channel bandwidth up to 80MHz
  • 256 QAM modulation scheme
  • Implicit and explicit Transmit Beamforming technology
  • Low Density Parity Check (LDPC)
  • Wi-Fi offload engine
  • Marvell Spectrum Management
  • Multi-stream, low PER and latency HD video
  • Integrated Wi-Fi position engine

  • Earlier this year, Marvell announced the first 802.11ac 2x2 combination radio chip, the Avastar 88W8897, which pairs near field communications (NFC) and Bluetooth 4.0 – with mobile multiple input multiple output (MIMO), transmit beamforming and support for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast. 
  • Marvell introduced an 802.11n 4x4 SoC in 2010.

Equinix Opens Miami Data Center

Equinix opened a new International Business Exchange (IBX) data center in Boca Raton, Florida.

The new MI3 facility, which is located outside of the Category 5 hurricane evacuation zone, will provide 31,300 square feet of floor space, with additional options for future expansion.  It offers direct connectivity to the leading Latin American network operators for reduced latency, include close proximity to several cable landing stations such as the lowest latency route to Brazil via GlobeNet.

Customers that are deploying at MI3 include:  Allied Fiber, Cogent Communications, FiberLight, Inteliquent, Neutrona Networks International, Sidera Networks, and tw telecom.

Arista Releases 2nd Gen 10GBASE-T Switches, $300/port

Arista Networks introduced its second generation of 10GBASE-T switches, providing customers with the cost savings of twinax copper cabling in the data center instead of SFP+ fiber.

The Arista 7050 Series 1/10GBASE-T data center switches offer wire speed performance with a choice of 36, 52 or 64 ports of 10GbE.  The Arista 7050T-36 switch includes 32 ports with auto-negotiating 100Mb/1GbE/10GbE ports based on standard RJ45 interfaces and 4 10GbE SFP+ ports. This enables customers to deploy scalable, leaf-spine cloud networks while preserving their initial investment and minimizing intrusive upgrades. Prices start at $300 per port.

Arista said its 7050T Series offers the lowest power consumption in the industry at five watts per port.

“The key elements for widespread customer adoption of 10GBASE-T are low price, power efficiency and high density. The price points of 10GBASE-T are now nearing data center class 1GbE switches which make future proofing all the more compelling for customers,” said Anshul Sadana senior vice president, Customer Engineering for Arista Networks.

Cable & Wireless Comm Sells Assets to Bahrain's Batelco

Cable & Wireless Communications will sell its Monaco & Islands division to Bahrain's Batelcom Group for US$680 million.

The sale include CWC's businesses in the Maldives, Channel Islands and Isle of Man, the Seychelles, South Atlantic and Diego Garcia as well as a 25% shareholding in Compagnie Monegasque de Communication SAM, the company which holds CWC’s 55% interest in Monaco Telecom.

Cable & Wireless Communications said the disposal helps to focus the company on the Central American and Caribbean region, as well as increasing the company’s financial flexibility. The Group’s net debt position will be reduced from US$1,588 million as at 30 September 2012 to approximately US$937 million on a pro forma basis, implying proportionate net debt / EBITDA of 1.8x (for the 12 months to 30 September 2012).

"Batelco Group will have the opportunity to operate, in collaboration with its new business partners, communications businesses across 17 markets. This acquisition supports our strategy by adding new cash generative business clusters to our existing operations across the Middle Eastern region. We look forward to working closely with all the shareholders and management teams in the companies to ensure we continue to deliver value and innovation to customers and be recognized as market leaders," stated Sheikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa, Batelco Group Chief Executive.