Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cisco Comments on Der Spiegel Report on NSA Capabilities

Cisco announced an investigation into reported claims that the NSA has developed  a catalog of special techniques to penetrate the firewalls of major industry players, including Cisco, Juniper and Huawei, along with other specific network equipment.  The report was published by Der Spiegel.

In a blog posting, John Stewart, Cisco's Chief Security Officer, said Cisco is "deeply concerned" about the allegation but "unaware" of any new product vulnerabilities and is seeking additional information.



Monday, December 30, 2013

India's Aircel Picks ZTE for 4G

Aircel has selected ZTE as a key supplier for its 4G network. Under the contract, LTE rollout will be initiated in Chennai, Rest of Tamil Nadu (RoTN) and few other business critical circles. ZTE is also migrating Aircel’s data services int he Chennai and ROTN circles to its evolved packet core. Financial terms were not disclosed.

ZTE noted its relationship with Aircel since 2008, where it has supported the operator's 2G-3G rollout in three circles of the north zone and played a key role in the launch of the Next Generation Networks (NGN) for Pan India. The EPC deployment in the south zones further strengthens the partnership and enables Aircel to provide high capacity and capability solutions with access agnostic functions for 2G, 3G and 4G LTE services.


Friday, December 27, 2013

China Issues First MVNO Licenses

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued the first licenses allowing mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) to use the infrastructure of China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom. A total of eleven companies were granted MVNO licenses in the first round, including the c-commerce company Alibaba.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Microsoft Plans Massive Data Center Expansion in Quincy, WA

Microsoft has acquired a 200-acre site in Quincy, Washington for a massive new data center for its Azure cloud services.  The first phase of the project is expected to come online in 2015.

Microsoft opened its first data center in Quincy in 2007.

Quincy is located in central Washington along the Columbia river.  Intuit, Vantage and Yahoo! also operate major data centers in the town.


Telstra Exits Hong Kong Mobile Market with Sale of CSL

Telstra is selling its Hong Kong based mobiles business CSL to HKT Limited for US$2.425 billion.

The sale, which is subject to regulatory approval in Hong Kong and HKT and PCCW Limited security holder approval, would equate to proceeds of approximately A$2 billion* for Telstra’s 76.4 per cent interest. HKT will also acquire the remaining 23.6 per cent shareholding held by New World Development.

Telstra CEO said market dynamics that make this the right time to sell CSL.

“CSL has been a strongly performing business, the compound annual revenue growth rate was 9.4 per cent over the last three years and we have gained market share. We are proud of CSL’s achievements. It has established itself as a premium brand and strong player in the market, last year adding 425,000 mobile customers,” said Mr Thodey. “However, there are a number of dynamics in the Hong Kong mobiles market that means this is the right opportunity for Telstra to maximise our return on this successful asset.”


Monday, December 23, 2013

Seagate to Acquire Xyratex for HDD Testing

Seagate Technology agreed to acquired Xyratex (NASDAQ: XRTX), a developer of hard disk drive (HDD) capital test equipment, in an all-cash transaction valued at $13.25 per share, or a total of approximately $374 million, including approximately $80 million in cash on Xyratex’s balance sheet.

Seagate said the acquisition will strengthen its vertically integrated supply and manufacturing chain for disk drives and ensure uninterrupted access to important capital equipment. The acquisition also expands Seagate’s storage solutions portfolio by adding Xyratex’s enterprise data storage systems and high-performance computing business. Seagate will operate this business as a standalone entity and will focus on opportunities to improve and expand the business.  


China Unicom Deploys Huawei's Small Cells in Harbin

China Unicom will begin deploying Huawei's AtomCell small cell solution in the city of Harbin.  The small cell network will use the same frequency as China Unicom's existing macro network without needing to invest in new transmission resources.

Huawei's AtomCell supports both wired and wireless backhaul depending on operator needs to greatly site resource acquisition and shorten time for network construction, and supports end-to-end IP RAN networking.  Financial terms were not disclosed.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

IBM to Acquire Aspera for WAN Optimization Software

IBM agreed to acquire Aspera, a start-up that offers software for accelerating data transfers.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Aspera claims its transfer technology can reduces transmission times for large files or data sets by up to 99.9 percent – potentially cutting a 26 hour transfer of a 24 gigabyte file, sent halfway around the world, down to just 30 seconds.

Aspera's "fasp" is a protocol designed to overcome problems with TCP regardless of packet loss, latency or file size.  The software is licensed to clients and partners either in the cloud or on premise. Customers include "virtually all the major broadcast television networks, Hollywood studios and CG/animation houses."

"Our team has redefined how the world’s biggest data can be moved quickly, securely and reliably around the world,” said Michelle Munson, president and co-founder, Aspera. "By tapping into IBM’s innovative capabilities and global resources, we will solve ever expanding data movement challenges for our customers now and in the future."

IBM said the Aspera technology is suitable for cloud services and will be integrated with IBM’s recently acquired SoftLayer cloud infrastructure later next year.


  • Aspera is based in Emeryville, California.  The company is headed by Michelle Munson, who previously was a software engineer in research and start-up companies including the IBM Almaden Research center before founding Aspera in 2004. 

DukeNet Tests SDN Orchestration with Cyan and Accedian

DukeNet Communications is conducting a software-defined network (SDN) proof-of-concept demonstration leveraging technology from Cyan and Accedian Networks.

The SDN use case demonstration involves applications running on an enterprise server dynamically placing requests for additional cloud data center virtual machines and associated network resources using OpenStack application program interfaces (APIs) and OpenFlow across the DukeNet network.

Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN Platform services the request on behalf of network resources and proxies the compute and data center network demands to an OpenStack server in the cloud data center. Blue Planet performs all functions necessary to turn up additional services across DukeNet’s network including carrier Ethernet and optical edge devices from Accedian Networks. The data center instance of OpenStack negotiates with compute resources and data center switches to allocate the necessary network and compute capacity.

“Conducted in a real world multi-vendor environment, the event validates our ability to dynamically spin up data center virtual machines (VMs) along with virtualized network resources for customers,” said David Herran, Vice President of Network Architecture and Technology Planning. “This capability ultimately will allow us to offer new, flexible, and elastic services to customers and will provide an important new means to monetize our network investment.”

“Cyan is proud to partner with DukeNet on such a cutting-edge and important industry demonstration,” said Michael Hatfield, President and co-Founder, Cyan. “The carrier space is looking for proof that SDN can help them create new services and reduce costs. At the same time, enterprise customers are looking for networksthat are as elastic as their data center and compute resources. This demonstration goes a long way in proving that these types of services can be realized through SDN technology.”


In October 2013, Time Warner Cable agreed to acquire DukeNet Communications for $600 million in cash, including the repayment of debt. 

DukeNet Communications, which is a subsidiary of Duke Energy Corporation, operates a regional fiber optic network company serving customers in North Carolina and South Carolina, as well as five other states in the Southeast.  Its fiber network spans over 8,700 miles and provides high-capacity services to wireless carrier, data center, government, and enterprise customers. Duke Energy owns 50 percent of DukeNet. The Alinda investment funds own the remaining 50 percent.

IBM Teams with China's 21Vianet on Enterprise Cloud Services

IBM announced a partnership with 21Vianet Group, a carrier-neutral Internet data center operator in China, to introduce a private cloud service in China.

IBM will provide the physical point of distribution (POD) and service while 21Vianet will host the POD facility at 21Vianet data center in Beijing.

Josh Chen, Chairman and CEO of 21Vianet Group, Inc said: “IBM is a global leading enterprise-level cloud computing provider. What’s more, IBM is a sincere partner, not only sharing its own technologies and services, but also growing together with us with business insights, management experience, operation and marketing to help drive innovation. Through this cooperation, 21Vianet Group, Inc has obtained not only business growth, but also comprehensive enhancement in service capability of cloud computing, providing a platform upon which enterprises to base their critical and production workloads for growth."

Laurie Tropiano, General Manager of GTS, IBM GCG said: “Today, IBM  and 21Vianet Group, Inc create the new era of enterprise cloud computing in China.  Our clients, the pillars of China’s economy, will see IBM further accelerating its efforts around driving innovation in China with enhanced IBM cloud offerings as a platform. We are setting a new benchmark for cloud computing performance in China.”


As of 30-June-2013, 21Vianet manages over 12,000 cabinets for over 2,000 customers from its data centers across China.

Alaska's GCI to Launch Gigabit Service in Anchorage

GCI announced plans to deploy Alaska’s first 1 Gbps, fiber Internet service in Anchorage by 2015.

GCI is Alaska's largest provider of Internet services with cable modem, wireless and dedicated access. Its cable television services pass 90 percent of the state’s households with 64 percent penetration.

“This announcement is another example of GCI’s continuing commitment to provide Alaskans the latest in communications technology. We were the first Alaska carrier to provide single-hop satellite long distance calling, the first to provide high-speed Internet service, the first to construct redundant high capacity fiber cable networks between Alaska and the lower 48, and the first to provide terrestrial broadband service in rural Alaska. Since our founding, GCI has invested well in excess of $2 billion in Alaska’s communications infrastructure, and we continue to lead the market in technological innovation. We’re focused on ‘what’s next?’ to benefit Alaskans,” said Ron Duncan, GCI president and CEO.


Ekinops Ships Coherent 100G Cards

Ekinops announced commercial availability of its new coherent 100G transponder and muxponder modules, compatible with its Ekinops 360 platform.  The new 100G transponder and muxponder leverage Ekinops' programmable T-Chip technology with forward error correction (DynaFEC).

The Ekinops 360 platform includes three chassis options: 1RU, 2RU and 7RU. The 2 and 7 RU options can accommodate in the same chassis 10G and 100G modules to optimize space usage. As a result, customers who already have deployed the Ekinops 7RU chassis and have available slots can immediately add 100G services to their network. The 7RU chassis can be configured with up to six 100G transponders or 100G muxponders, or a combination of both, to deliver three terabits of capacity in a single rack. The muxponder offers flexible aggregation for a variety of 8G, 10G or 40G services.


Western Australia's Trident Undersea Cable to Serve Oil/Gas Sector

The Trident Subsea Cable Project, which will connect Perth, the Pilbara, Jakarta and Singapore, announced a number of milestones.

The 7,000-km fiber cable will support western Australia's oil and gas sector.  Fujitsu has been awarded a Master Services Agreement to serve as head contractor. A marine fact finding study has assessed the proposed path for the subsea cable, matching GPS coordinates against available data for risks and obstacles such under-sea volcanoes. A terrestrial route study has also commenced.

Mark de Kock, Chief Executive Officer of Trident, said: “We started the Trident project in 2012 with a plan to build an international data centre in the Pilbara. The signing of the Master Services Agreement with Fujitsu was a momentous occasion for us; it is great to see activity well under way on the delivery an integrated, single network model between the three countries.” Within the first quarter milestone, Fujitsu has delivered the scoping phase studies which cover the proposed marine and terrestrial routes for the cable.


Intel Updates Data Center Software for Big Data Analysis

Intel updated its data center software products with security and performance enhancements for big data management.

The announcements include the release of Intel Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop software v2.0, Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software 3.0, Intel Analytics Toolkit for Apache Hadoop software and the Intel Expressway Tokenization Broker.

"Some of the leading data-driven companies have invested heavily to create and implement their own big data analytics solutions," said Boyd Davis, vice president and general manager of Intel's Datacenter Software Division. "Intel is bringing this capability to market by providing software that is more secure and easier to use so that companies of all sizes can more easily uncover actionable insight in their data."

Some highlights:

  • Intel Graph Builder for Apache Hadoop software v2.0 is a set of pre-built libraries that enable high-performance, automated construction of rich graph representations that can model real-world problems and support a wide variety of third party graph databases, analytic engines and visualization tools.
  • The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software 3.0 includes support for Apache Hadoop 2.x and YARN with major upgrades to MapReduce, HDFS, Hive, HBase, and related components.
  • The Intel Distribution for Apache Hadoop software includes a number of unique security enhancements to Apache Hadoop 2.x, delivering up to 20 times faster encryption as well as decryption of data at rest, transparent encryption of data in process in HBase, MapReduce, Hive and Pig applications as well as granular cell-level access control of data in HBase. 


Vodafone Malta Deploys Tellabs 8600 Smart Routers

Vodafone Malta is using Tellabs' 8600 Smart Routers for the 10G Ethernet backhaul network that supports its LTE service.

Vodafone Malta owns its own backhaul network, which consists mainly of 10 Gbps connections over fiber. The new solution comprises Tellabs 8660 Smart Routers, Tellabs 8630 Smart Routers and Tellabs Ethernet Line Card (ELC1) cards, all managed by the Tellabs 8000 Intelligent Network Manager.


GigOptix Raises $11.8 million in New Share Offering

GigOptix announced the pricing of its underwritten public offering of an aggregate of 8,325,000 newly issued shares of common stock at a price of $1.42 per share. The company expects to receive gross proceeds of $11.8 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and other estimated offering expenses.


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Amazon Web Services to Launch in China

Amazon Web Services announced plans to launch cloud services from Beijing, China in early 2014.  China Net Center and SINNET will provide the infrastructure, network services, and CDN services.

In a blog posting, AWS cited a number of customers in China already, such as Qihu 360, Xiaomi, FunPlus Game, Mobotap, TCL, Hisense, Tiens, Kingsoft, Light in the Box,  NQ mobile, Papaya mobile, Madhouse, DerbySoft, Tap4fun, DeNA China, Boyaa interactive, Huan.tv, and Sungy Mobile Limited.

AWS China (Bejing) Regions will support a broad collection of services, in compliance with the country's legal and regulatory requirements, including:

  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)
  • Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS)
  • Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3)
  • Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS)
  • Amazon DynamoDB
  • Amazon Elastic MapReduce (Amazon EMR)
  • Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC)
  • Amazon CloudWatch
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • Amazon Simple Queue Service (Amazon SQS)
  • Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS)
  • Auto Scaling
  • Elastic Load Balancing
  • Amazon Glacier
  • Amazon Simple Workflow (SWF)
  • AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM)
  • Amazon ElastiCache
  • AWS Storage Gateway
  • AWS Management Console
  • AWS Premium Support


European Commission and the 5G PPP Association Set Charter

The European Commission and the 5G PPP Association signed a contract to create a 5G public-private partnership (PPP). The 5G PPP will further develop 5G technology to prepare for the future standardization of the system and components that are expected to be deployed in the next decade.

The 5G PPP, which brings together a broad range of stakeholder from the communications technology sector, will deliver solutions, architectures, technologies and standards for the next generation communication infrastructures of the coming decade.

The EC said the total budget devoted by the public side to be EUR 700 million under the Horizon 2020 plan. Private sector players are expected to invest an equal EUR 700 million.

The 5G Infrastructure PPP is a contractual PPP and the European Commission will follow the rules of Horizon 2020 in terms of calls, selection, negotiation, contracting of project proposals as well as monitoring and payments of funded projects.

“This is an important milestone towards an industry-wide agreement on use cases, requirements and technologies for 5G,” said Dr. Werner Mohr, head of research alliances, NSN, who will chair the 5G PPP Association. “LTE and its continuous evolution will be sufficient until the end of the decade. However, after 2020 a new generation of technologies will be needed to address market demands. The industry and academia are working together to create a high-performance 5G environment.”

NSN is conducting research on the flexible use of spectrum and its propagation in new, higher bands, both for centimeter and millimeter wave. In addition, the company is working on system design for ultra-dense small cell deployments to deliver the high data rates and ultra-low latency that will be needed to support future use cases such as augmented reality and tactile Internet.


Huawei Plans US$600 Million Investment in 5G

Huawei plans to will invest a minimum of US$600 million in research and innovation for 5G technologies by 2018. The company predicts that the first 5G networks will be ready for commercial deployment starting in 2020 and will deliver peak data rates of over 10Gbps, 100 times faster than today's 4G networks. Eric Xu, rotating CEO of Huawei, said: "Innovation is a continuous journey. While we continue to evolve our existing 4G network capabilities,...

In June 2013, Huawei announced its participation in the METIS project, an initiative co-funded by the European Commission as an Integrated Project under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and development (FP7). METIS, which stands for Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society, aims to explore the foundations for 5G wireless systems. Huawei said it is playing the leading role in the Radio Link Technology...

Ericsson: Expect 5G Network-Society Technologies by 2020

With 4G LTE rollouts now underway by dozens of operators worldwide, interest is building in what comes beyond the LTE-Advanced standards. Speaking at the Ericsson Analyst Forum in Santa Clara, California,  Ulf Ewaldsson, Ericsson's CTO, said 5G is just a research concept at the moment and any vendor claims about having the technology in the labs is hype.  5G research projects underway in Europe and China are seeking to outline the requirements...

Samsung Electronics is testing adaptive array transceiver technology operating in the millimeter-wave Ka band at a frequency of 28 GHz at a speed of up to 1.056 Gbps to a distance of up to 2 kilometers.  The company said the technology will be the core of future 5G networks. The new technology sits at the core of 5G mobile communications system and will provide data transmission up to several hundred times faster than current 4G networks.

CloudNFV Advances with Proof-of-Concept Acceptance by ETSI NFV ISG

The ETSI Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Industry Specifications Group (ISG) has accepted the first proof-of-concept application covering expected use cases.

CloudNFV, which was set-up by CIMI Corporation President Tom Nolle, submitted the NFV proposal on behalf of its members, which include 6WIND, Dell, EnterpriseWeb, Huawei, Overture, Mellanox, Metaswitch and Qosmos.

The CloudNFV POC leverages extensions to the ETSI NFV framework based on work by the TMF (GB942 and GB922) and the IETF (i2aex).  The project's top goal is "to demonstrate a framework for the application of NFV principles to actual service provider service creation, deployment and management practices." This includes four CloudNFV service processes:  NodeBuilder, ServiceBuilder, ServiceBroker, and ServiceManager.

The approved PoC application is sponsored by Sprint and Telefonica.

The CloudNFV PoC is already being hosted in Dell’s Cloud in Santa Clara, California.  The group intends to publish the results of specific tests along with recommended additions and modifications.


Amazon's CloudFront CDN Gets Country-Specific Restriction Capability

Amazon Web Services has enhanced its CloudFront CDN with the ability to restrict content based on the geographic location of the viewer.  Publishers can now choose to whitelist or blacklist specific countries where their content may be viewed.  This is useful for dealing with geographic licensing terms for online media or software distribution.  AWS said the geographic restriction is now a native feature of CloudFront instead of requiring a third-party geo-location product.


Cisco Offers Desktop as a Service (DaaS) for Cloud Providers

Cisco introduced a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) solution that enables enabling cloud providers to offer their customers a either a VMware or Citrix virtual desktop subscription service using the Cisco Unified Computing System and the Cisco Unified Data Center architecture.

The Cisco DaaS solution delivers up to 252 virtual desktops on a single UCS blade server while supporting end user applications that require high-quality rendering of immersive, 3D graphics.  Cisco is also adding new UCS Solution Accelerator Packs for Desktop Virtualization that provide simplified ordering.

"Many organizations are looking for ways to achieve the benefits of desktop virtualization without the need to install and maintain equipment or make capital investments," said Satinder Sethi, Vice President, Engineering.  "Not only is Desktop as a Service a great solution for a growing number of companies, but Cisco's offering is uniquely architected to help cloud service providers achieve rapid time-to-market while economically scaling their business."

"Desktone by VMware and Cisco have developed a complete and proven blueprint for enabling service providers to offer a Desktop as a Service solution for delivering Windows desktops and applications as a cloud service based on VMware Horizon View." said Peter McKay, Vice President and General Manager, End-User Computing, VMware. "Our mutual customers such as Logicalis, Quest, Netelligent, Dimension Data, Adapt and ANS are utilizing our unique architecture that includes multi-tenancy, self-service provisioning, multi data center management, multi-desktop model support, grid-scale, and security to deliver Desktop as a Service and provide differentiated value added services to their customers".


MADA Kuwait Selects DragonWave for Microwave Backhaul

MADA Communications Kuwait has selected DragonWave as its single-source microwave backhaul supplier for its multi-million dollar network deployment.

DragonWave’s Horizon Compact and Quantum products allows MADA’s network to achieve multi-gigabit speeds with minimal latency. MADA provides high capacity Wireless Broadband nationwide in Kuwait for both corporate and residential customers.

MADA is relying exclusively on the DragonWave solution for its microwave backhaul for this component of the network. DragonWave's Horizon Quantum, which delivers from 2 to 4 Gbps per link, offers dual-channel capability in a split-mount system that increases spectral efficiency, capacity, nodal intelligence and operational simplicity. In addition, the Horizon Quantum’s integrated switching provides aggregation and restoration in a single unit.  Horizon Compact is a high-capacity, packet microwave system that integrates the radio and modem into a single outdoor unit, eliminating rack congestion and minimizing collocation space. Horizon Compact’s 800 Mbps capacity per link, Hitless Automatic Adaptive Modulation, and ring/mesh support mean maximum performance and throughput, as well as sophisticated remote management and troubleshooting features.


NSN Confirms LTE Contract with China Telecom

NSN has secured a contract with China Telecommunications as a major partner for its nationwide LTE rollout.

Under the contract, NSN will implement its innovative Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Stations. The company will also provide network launch optimization, implementation supervision and care services in order to use resources most efficiently and to guarantee the highest network quality possible. In addition, the agreement covers NSN’s intelligent network management system, NetAct, for comprehensive management of the operator’s multi-vendor network. With NSN’s support, the introduction of a 4G network will enable China Telecom to deliver a superior customer experience to its subscribers.

China Telecom is a new customer for NSN’s mobile broadband business. Financial terms were not disclosed.


KDDI Picks Ericsson for LTE-RAN and EPC

Ericsson confirmed that KDDI has selected it as one of the prime vendors to deploy its LTE system and Evolved Packet Core network.

Under the contract, Ericsson will provide a LTE radio access network based on RBS6000 as well as the Evolved Packet Core. The radio access network is based on LTE FDD. In addition to network solutions, Ericsson will provide related services such as network rollout and systems integration. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Alcatel-Lucent Names Tim Krause its Chief Marketing Officer

Alcatel-Lucent appointed Tim Krause as Chief Marketing Officer, reporting to company CEO Michel Combes.  Krause will be responsible for the company's global marketing efforts as well as external communications.

Most recently, Krause served as Senior Vice President, in charge of the AT&T customer team. He has over 25 years of experience in the telecommunications industry, having held various positions in engineering, product line management, product strategy, and marketing in Alcatel. He has been a Director of Telecommunications Industry Association and  served as a Director of 2Wire.


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

CTO Viewpoint: Top Predictions for 2014

By Martin Nuss, Vitesse Semiconductor

As 2013 draws to a close, it’s time to ponder what’s next. We know connections are growing, as previously unconnected devices are now joining smart phones and tablets in the network, but how will they be networked? Furthermore, how will networks handle these additional connections, which are only going to grow faster in 2014? And lastly, how will all of these links be secured? Many advanced technologies have been developed for these exact questions. Here’s what I see coming to the forefront in 2014.

The Internet of Things: The Next All-Ethernet IP Network

Today’s world is defined by networking – public, private, cloud, industrial, you name it. Eventually everything will be connected, and mostly connected wirelessly. According to Morgan Stanley projections, 75 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) by 2020. Clearly all these devices will need to be networked, and must be securely accessible anywhere, anytime.

Proprietary communications and networking protocols have long dominated networking within Industrial applications. With higher bandwidth and increased networking demands in Industrial process control, Smart-Grid Energy Distribution, Transportation, and Automotive applications, and Industrial networks are transitioning to standards-based Ethernet networking.

Networks within the broad-based Industrial applications realm will need many of the same capabilities developed for Carrier Ethernet, such as resiliency, high availability, accurate time synchronization, low power, security, and cloud connectivity. In 2014, we believe IoT will be the next network moving entirely to Ethernet-IP based in the Carrier Ethernet space. We also believe security, timing, reliability and deterministic behavior will become important requirements for these connected networks.

Network Security Sets Sights On Authentication, Authorization, Accounting (AAA) and Encryption

There will be more than 10 billion mobile devices/connections by 2017, including more than 1.7 billion M2M connections, according to Cisco’s most recent Visual Networking Index projections. As the number of network connections increase, so do the vulnerabilities. Anything with an IP address is theoretically hackable, and networking these devices without physical security heightens risk.

Security has long been an important issue, and the continued strong growth in the number of mobile Internet connections will bring more challenges in 2014. Operators will need to rely on the most advanced technologies available. New mobile devices with bandwidth-hungry applications, and the small cell networks needed to support them, exponentially multiply the number of network elements required in mobile networks. Long gone are the days of network equipment residing solely in physically secure locations like a central office or a macro base station. The network edge is particularly vulnerable because it is part of the Carrier network, but not physically secure. New types of access points directly exposed to users pose the obvious security concern. The BYOD trend introduces a new layer of vulnerable access points for enterprises to protect. Small cells are also particularly susceptible to hackers, as they are often installed outdoors at street level or indoors in easy-to-reach locations. Strong encryption of these last mile links can provide the necessary confidentiality of data. Authentication, authorization, and the corresponding accounting trails will ensure both the users and the equipment remain uncompromised.

In 2014, we expect that encryption and AAA will become key topics as Carrier equipment migrates to lamp posts, utility poles, and traffic signals. Encryption directly at the L2 Ethernet layer makes the most sense, especially as service providers offer more Carrier Ethernet Layer 2 (L2) VPN services. Fortunately, new MACsec technologies make it a viable option for wired and wireless WAN security.

SDN Looks Promising, But Carriers’ 2014 Focus Will Be On NFV

Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) are widely discussed, but realization in Carriers’ networks is still some time away. Unlike datacenters, where SDN can be rolled out relatively easily, Carriers must modernize their complex operational structures before implementing SDN.

SDN’s biggest potential benefit to Carrier networks is its ability to create multiple, virtual private networks on top of a single physical network, which distributes costs by allowing multiple customers and service providers to securely share the same network. However, the entire network needs to support SDN in order to do that. On the other hand, NFV is about testing and deploying new services at the IP Edge faster and with lower CapEx. How? It’s made possible by creating the service in software, rather than with dedicated hardware. As long as the equipment at the network edge is NFV-ready, Carriers can create new services in centralized and virtualized servers. This captures Carriers’ imagination, since NFV promises a faster path to revenue with less risk and investment required. One of the first NFV applications we will see is Deep Packet Inspection (DPI). Because SDN requires spending money in order to save money, expect to see more Carrier attention to NFV in 2014.

4G RAN Sharing Becomes Widespread, Later Followed by 5G

Many see 5G as the next big thing, but beyond ‘more bandwidth’ little is defined, and the business drivers aren’t as clear as they were for 4G/LTE. We anticipate 5G will not fully materialize until 2020. Again, operators will need to upgrade networks for its deployment, and this might provide an opportunity to unify fixed, mobile, and nomadic network access.

In 2014, expect RAN sharing to become much more commonplace, with the financially strongest MNOs (Mobile Network Operators) installing the RAN infrastructure and leasing capacity back to other wireless service providers. This will allow participating operators to trade off CapEx and OpEx considerations. SDN (Software Defined Networking) will play a major role in slicing the RANs any way possible to partition the network infrastructure, while also virtualizing many aspects of the RAN.

About the Author

Martin Nuss, Ph.D. is Vice President, Technology and Strategy and Chief Technology Officer at Vitesse Semiconductor. Dr. Nuss has over 20 years of technical and management experience. He is a recognized industry expert in timing and synchronization for communications networks. Dr. Nuss serves on the board of directors for the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and is a fellow of the Optical Society of America and IEEE member. He holds a doctorate in applied physics from the Technical University in Munich, Germany.

About Vitesse

Vitesse (Nasdaq: VTSS) designs a diverse portfolio of high-performance semiconductor solutions for Carrier and Enterprise networks worldwide. Vitesse products enable the fastest-growing network infrastructure markets including Mobile Access/IP Edge, Cloud Computing and SMB/SME Enterprise Networking. Visit www.vitesse.com or follow us on Twitter @VitesseSemi.

AT&T to Sell Wireline Operation in Connecticut for $2 Billion

AT&T will sell its wireline business and statewide fiber network that provides services to residential, commercial and wholesale customers in Connecticut to Frontier Communications for $2 billion.

The deal includes AT&T's U-verse video and satellite TV customers in Connecticut.

Frontier expects the transaction to be accretive to its adjusted free cash flow per share in the first year.  The company says the acquisition gives it greater scale to leverage its network, information technology, engineering, administrative services and procurement capabilities to realize cost synergies and savings of $200 million annually once integration is complete.

Maggie Wilderotter, Frontier's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "We are excited to be acquiring AT&T's wireline operating company in Connecticut, where our company has been headquartered since 1946. This is a great opportunity to bring to Connecticut Frontier's portfolio of products and services, such as Frontier Secure, our industry leading digital security offering that gives customers top-rated online computer protection and premium technical support. It also allows us to introduce our local engagement management model to Connecticut in which Frontier employees provide high-quality service to their friends and neighbors and become actively involved in their communities." Wilderotter added, "We see an opportunity to enhance broadband capabilities in Connecticut. This transaction demonstrates our continued commitment to enhancing shareholder value by improving the sustainability of our dividend, increasing our free cash flow and building on our core product and service strengths."


Brazil's Telefónica Vivo Picks Coriant

Telefónica Vivo, the largest telecommunications company in Brazil, has selected Coriant's hiT 7300, hiT 7100, TNMS and related support services to drive network expansion and increase capacity in its optical backbone network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deployment includes Coriant's hiT 7300 intelligent optical transport platform, hiT 7100 OTN/MPLS-TP switch, and TNMS, a holistic network management system designed to simplify end-to-end service provisioning and control. Coriant highlighted its 40/100G coherent technology, flexible ROADM architecture, and integrated packet and optical service capabilities as key factors in Telefónica Vivo's decision. In addition, the Coriant solution delivered tangible operational cost savings through improved efficiencies in space and power.

"Telefónica Vivo is at the leading edge of bringing services to market that demonstrate how information and communication technologies have the potential to radically transform businesses such as healthcare," said Herbert Merz, president and CEO, Coriant. "We are pleased to extend our strategic relationship with Telefónica Vivo and deliver the high-quality solutions that allow them to meet the performance requirements of all their service offerings."
Coriant's industry-leading portfolio of service management and control solutions include Intelligent Optical Control (IOC), the industry's first solution leveraging Software Defined Networking (SDN) technology for the optimization of the optical layer, and fully integrated ASON/GMPLS for enhanced multi-layer, multi-domain and multi-vendor control.


DE-CIX Completes Upgrade of its Internet Exchange

DE-CIX, which operates the world’s largest Internet exchange in Frankfurt am Main (Germany), completed a major upgrade to its flagship DE-CIX Apollon platform and successfully migrated all of its nearly 600 customers to the next system.

DE-CIX Apollon consists of four fully implemented Supernodes and six edge nodes spread across the Frankfurt metro, with the platform’s deployment having begun in April 2013. In ten scheduled maintenance windows, 580 customers with a total of 928 ports were successfully migrated to the new DE-CIX Apollon platform.

DE-CIX Apollon uses ADVA Optical Networking and Alcatel-Lucent as its technology vendors. Specifically, the platform leverages ADVA Optical Networking's flagship FSP 3000 platform for optical transport capacity of up to 2 Terabits/sec per fiber pair. The switching layer is powered by Alcatel-Lucent's Core Router 7950 XRS, which supports port density of up to 80 100 Gigabit Ethernet ports per chassis. The core of the DE-CIX Apollon network is based on four supernodes that are built from the Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS and which are fed by customer-facing switches, both located at secure locations spread throughout the Frankfurt metro.

In 2014, DE-CIX will announce additional Ethernet-based interconnection options that its Apollon infrastructure will provide.

“We’re proud to announce that DE-CIX Apollon is now ready for service,” confirmed Harald A. Summa, CEO for DE-CIX. “A huge congratulations goes out to our engineering and support teams for their careful planning and strong execution of this complex process. Our goal was always to maximize efficiency and minimize disruptions for our customers, and we’ve been successful. DE-CIX Apollon is the result of the innovation, vision and excellence that we bring to all aspects of our work. We know global Internet traffic will continue to grow and are confident that the DE-CIX Apollon platform will capably handle traffic for all our customers.”


Taiwan's Chunghwa Telecom Names Ericsson as Main LTE Supplier

Ericsson confirmed that it has been awarded main supplier for Taiwan's first LTE tender from leading operator, Chunghwa Telecom Co.

The island-wide LTE deployment includes the Radio Access Network (RAN) and roll-out services. In addition, Ericsson has won the tender as sole supplier for the Evolved Packet Core, which includes Mobility Management Entity and Evolved Packet Gateway on SSR 8020, as well as IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ericsson noted that Taiwan currently enjoys a mobile penetration rate of 127 percent, with close to 80 percent of subscribers already on a 3G service.


Raytheon Opens Cyber Center in San Antonio

Raytheon inaugurated a new cyber facility in San Antonio, Texas. Raytheon cited its expertise in providing full-spectrum cyber capabilities including cyber domain situational awareness, incident response, network monitoring, vulnerability assessment, information assurance and cyber training capabilities.

Raytheon's global cyber resources include 21 cyber facilities in five countries. This includes 10 states where cyber solutions are developed, tested and delivered for customers. The new San Antonio cyber center is one of two cyber-focused Raytheon sites in Texas.

"Raytheon is excited to be growing its presence in 'Cyber City USA' as San Antonio plays a significant role in developing the talent and delivering the technologies that our customers have come to rely on as they keep their edge in the cyber domain," said Jack Harrington, vice president of Cybersecurity and Special Missions with Raytheon's Intelligence, Information and Services business. "We expect this move will provide us the room we need to grow."


Slovak Telekom Launches LTE with Ericsson

Slovak Telekom has launched its LTE network in five cities in Slovakia.  Ericsson is the sole vendor for the LTE radio network, which is based on the multi-standard RBS 6000 base station. The network operates at 1800MHz and offers a maximum theoretical speed of 73Mbps download and 23Mbps upload. Circuit-switched fallback (CSFB) ensures that voice calls and text messages are delivered to LTE devices through the use of a 2G/3G circuit-switched network.

Ericsson is the incumbent vendor for Slovak Telekom, having supplied the operator's 2G and 3G radio, as well as circuit core hardware and software, including IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem). With the Ericsson IMS Slovak Telekom will evolve its current voice business to support VoLTE in the future.


  •  Deutsche Telekom holds a 51% stake in Slovak Telekom, while the Slovak Republic's Ministry of the Economy holds 34%, and the country's National Property Fund holds 15%.

SingTel Deploys Ericsson's Self-organizing Network Solution

SingTel is deploying Ericsson's SON Optimization Manager to extend benefits of network automation to their WCDMA networks.

Ericsson's SON solution adapts intelligently to network traffic conditions, delivering optimum coverage, capacity and quality at all times. It includes self-optimization features such as coverage capacity optimization and load balance (CCLB), and automatic neighbor relation (ANR) handling. Self-healing functions are being developed to automatically compensate for cell outages by adjusting the neighboring cells to find the optimal configuration.


ETSI Publishes Cloud Computing Report

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) delivered a 59-page report to the European Commission discussing the role of standards in cloud computing.

The report aims to serve as a detailed map of the necessary standards (inter alia for security, interoperability, data portability and reversibility) needed to build trust in cloud computing services.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Avago to Acquire LSI for $6.6 Billion

Avago Technologies agreed to acquire LSI Corporation for $11.15 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at $6.6 billion.

The acquisition creates a highly diversified semiconductor market leader with approximately $5 billion in annual revenues by adding enterprise storage to Avago's existing wired infrastructure, wireless and industrial businesses.

The combined company will be strongly positioned to capitalize on the growing opportunities created by the rapid increases in data center IP and mobile data traffic.

"This highly complementary and compelling acquisition positions Avago as a leader in the enterprise storage market and expands our offerings and capabilities in wired infrastructure, particularly system-level expertise," stated Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avago. "This combination will increase the Company's scale and diversify our revenue and customer base. In addition to these powerful strategic benefits, as we integrate LSI onto the Avago platform, we expect to drive LSI's operating margins toward Avago's current levels, creating significant additional value for stockholders."

"This transaction provides immediate value to our stockholders, and offers new growth opportunities for our employees to develop a wider range of leading-edge solutions for customers," said Abhi Talwalkar, President and Chief Executive Officer of LSI.  "Our leadership positions in enterprise storage and networking, in combination with Avago, create greater scale to further drive innovations into the datacenter."

Regarding financials, Avago said it expects the deal will be significantly and immediately accretive to its non-GAAP free cash flow and earnings per share. Avago currently anticipates achieving annual cost savings at a run rate of $200 million by the end of the fiscal year ending November 1, 2015, the first full fiscal year after closing.  Avago will fund the acquisition with $1.0 billion of cash from the combined balance sheet, a $4.6 billion term loan from a group of banks, and a $1 billion investment from Silver Lake Partners.


Crown Castle Completes Tower Deal with AT&T

AT&T and Crown Castle completed a previously announced  $4.85 billion deal under which AT&T will lease the rights to approximately 9,100 of its company-owned wireless towers to Crown Castle.   The deal also includes the sale of approximately 600 AT&T towers to Crown Castle.

Under the terms of the leases, Crown Castle will have exclusive rights to lease and operate approximately the towers, including the option to sublease to other carriers. The average term of the lease rights is about 28 years. As the leases expire, Crown Castle will have fixed price purchase options, totaling approximately $4.2 billion, for these towers based on their estimated fair market values at the end of the lease terms.

AT&T will sublease capacity on the towers from Crown Castle for a minimum of 10 years for $1,900 per month per site, with annual rent increases of 2 percent. AT&T has the option to renew up to a total of 50 years. AT&T will also have access to additional reserve capacity on the towers for future use. AT&T expects the additional capacity will help it continue to meet growing demand for mobile Internet services. The transaction will have no impact on the customer experience.

Intel to Acquire Mindspeed's Wireless Unit - ARM Baseband Processors

Intel will acquire the wireless infrastructure division of Mindspeed Technologies.  Financial terms were not disclosed. The asset sale was contemplated by M/A-COM Technology Solutions' agreement to acquire Mindspeed, which was announced last month.

Mindspeed is a leading supplier of processor for small cells in 3G/HSPA, TD-SCDMA and LTE.  Its base station semiconductor solutions serve residential to enterprise to pico/metro applications. The wireless infrastructure division has sites in Bath, UK; Newport Beach, Calif.; and Shenzhen and Beijing, China.

Mindspeed's current network processors leverage ARM Cortex RISC processor technology.

On her blog, Rose Schooler, vice president and general manager of Intel's Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group, said the acquisition brings a wireless infrastructure team with deep experience in delivering signal processing-related technologies and IP for base stations. She notes that this accelerate the strategy to consolidate networking workloads onto Intel architecture, particulary signal processing for base stations. Intel has been working with China Mobile and SKT on designing Cloud Radio Access Network technologies.


  • Mindspeed's latest Transcede 4000/4020 processor uses a scaleable architecture to address the emerging needs of the Next-Generation Mobile Network (NGMN) and enables follow-on devices within the family that address different performance points such as enterprise femtocells.  It delivers Layer 1 and Layer 2 functionality with the performance needed to support base stations ranging in size from macrocells to picocells and the flexibility to support HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, LTE-FDD, LTE-TDD, WiMAX and IMT-Advanced standards in a single System-on-Chip (SoC). Coupling the latest RISC processor technology with a high performance DSP processing array in a single chip, the Transcede 4000/4020 provides low-cost/high-value processing capability from IP packets to IQ samples.
  • In November 2013, M/A-COM Technology Solutions, a supplier of high performance RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products, agreed to acquire Mindspeed Technologies for $5.05 per share in a cash, a 66% premium over the company's previous close of $3.04 on November 4, 2013. This represents an enterprise value of $270 million. Mindspeed, which is based in Newport Beach, California, supplies semiconductors for communications infrastructure, including broadband access networks (fixed and mobile), enterprise networks and metropolitan and wide area networks (fixed and mobile). Its main product lines include its Transcede family of low-power, multi-core system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for 3G and 4G/LTE small cell base stations, and its Comcerto family of processors for triple-play access gateways. M/A-COM, which is based in Lowell, Massachusetts, supplies high performance RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products that enable next-generation internet and modern battlefield applications.

  • In 2012, Mindspeed acquired U.K.-based Picochip Limited, a leading supplier of integrated system-on-chip (SoC) solutions for small cell base stations, for a purchase price of approximately $51.8 million, plus a potential earnout payment of up to $25 million payable in the first calendar quarter of 2013. Picochip specializes in femtocell SoCs. Its publicly announced customers include Alpha Networks, AT4 Wireless, Airspan (partnered with Fujitsu), Intel, ip.Access, Ubiquisys (supplying NEC and Motorola), Willtek, Xinwei Telecom, Zyxel and a number of other major OEMs and ODMs.

Juniper to Acquire WANDL for Multi-layer Planning Software

Juniper Networks agreed to acquire WANDL, a supplier of software solutions for advanced planning, management, design and optimization of next-generation multi-layer networks, for approximately $60 million.

WANDL, which is based in Piscataway, NJ, offers a solutions for advanced network analysis, simulation, optimization, capacity planning and management of IP and MPLS networks as well as network solutions for ATM, PNNI/HPNNI, Frame Relay, TDM, Optical Transport, and Voice networks.  Its IP/MPLSView is a multi-vendor, multi-protocol, and multi-layer Traffic Management and Traffic Engineering solution for IP and/or MPLS networks.

Juniper said the acquisition brings proven technology and deep experience in traffic engineering, multi-layer optimization and path computation, which will help its service provider customers optimize the performance and cost of their networks.

The WANDL team will continue to be headquartered in New Jersey, joining forces with Juniper Networks OpenLab, The Junos® Center for Innovation.

"WANDL, Inc. is a long-time Technology Alliance partner that brings to Juniper a track record of innovation and extensive experience in optimizing network infrastructure. As our service provider customers continue to focus on finding ways to address the proliferation of mobile, video, cloud computing and other data-intensive services, they will benefit from WANDL's capabilities to design and manage networks more easily and cost efficiently, at any scale. We look forward to working together to grow WANDL's core business and continue offering enhanced value for our customers," stated Daniel Hua, senior vice president and general manager, Routing Business Unit, Juniper Networks.


Gigamon Deepens its Visibility Fabric

Gigamon announced new applications and enhancements for its Unified Visibility Fabric architecture, including advanced filtering capabilities such as stateful correlation, subscriber awareness, and deep packet visibility.

Gigamon's Visibiilty Fabric Architecture, which features an Application layer and a Services layer, goes beyond interconnecting testing tools to network traffic by providing traffic intelligence across physical, virtual and future SDN infrastructure.  At the Applications layer, Gigamon is updating its de-duplication capability and adding new FlowVUE and GTP correlation capabilities for mobile traffic.  At the Services layer, Gigamon is enhancing its header stripping capability while adding new adaptive packet filtering. The architecture is designed to handle millions of traffic flows across thousands of endpoints.

"As network architectures evolve and network speeds increase, the tools that monitor, manage and secure that network are increasingly turning to the Gigamon Visibility Fabric to provide intelligent correlated traffic filtering in order to keep up with the growth in volumes of data as well as the rapidly evolving network architectures," said Shehzad Merchant, Chief Strategy Officer at Gigamon. "The Visibility Fabric applications and advanced traffic filtering capabilities that we are bringing to market address a growing need for traffic intelligence built right into the Visibility Fabric."

The enhancements and new applications for the Unified Visibility Fabric include:

  • GTP correlation application -- provides the ability to filter and forward correlated subscriber traffic streams that are encapsulated using the GPRS Tunneling Protocol, or GTP, within 3G/4G/LTE environments. GTP correlation utilizes stateful subscriber filtering and forwarding to understand and maintain subscriber-specific sessions, thus helping to ensure Quality of Experience (QoE) as well as reliable accounting, billing and subscriber management.
  • FlowVUE application -- provides active, subscriber-aware flow sampling to intelligently forward only the most relevant traffic to the tools. FlowVUE intelligently manages Big Data traffic, enabling carriers to connect monitoring tools that otherwise would not be able to handle the volume of traffic.
  • Adaptive Packet Filtering -- providing the ability to look for content anywhere in the packet and make intelligent filtering and forwarding decisions. Filtering criteria includes advanced encapsulation protocols and/or inner packet contents beyond Layer 4. These updates enable basic application identification and protocol-aware filtering for packet filtering and distribution.
  • De-duplication Application enhancements -- including IPv6 de-duplication, as well as support for visibility in Cisco FabricPath environments and IP fragmentation awareness.


Sprint Activates LTE in 70 New Markets

Sprint turned on its LTE service in 70 new markets across the U.S., including Cedar Rapids, Fargo, Kalamazoo, Little Rock, Louisville, Madison, Orlando, San Diego, St. Louis and others.  

Sprint is now delivering LTE in 300 markets across the country.

“In 2013, we made major improvements across our 3G and 4G LTE network,” said Bob Azzi, chief network officer. “In the growing number of markets where the upgrades are nearly complete, our customers are noticing. Re-engineering our entire network has been a big undertaking, but now it’s delivering tangible benefits to our customers. With the announcement of Sprint Spark, the increasing availability of 4G LTE and the improvements we have made to our voice network, we’re full speed ahead for 2014.”

Some Sprint highlights for 2013:
  • Announcement of Sprint Spark, which will use carrier aggregation and other techniques to boost performance of the LTE network.
  • The Softbank transaction, which brings new financial resources to the company.
  • The Clearwire acquisition, which makes Sprint Spark possible by providing access to contiguous 2.5GHz spectrum.
  • The acquisition of spectrum from U.S. Cellular, which significantly increases network capacity in key Midwest markets.
  • The introduction of HD Voice and a target of covering 85 million POPs by the end of 2013.
  • The deployment of in-building systems at key stadiums, airports, concert venues, etc.
  • The transition of iDEN business and government customers to Sprint’s 3G CDMA network.