Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cyan's Blue Planet SDN Digs into Multi-Vendor Network Inventory and Resources

Cyan introduced Planet Inventory, a multi-vendor network asset management application that forms part of the company's Blue Planet suite of software-defined network (SDN) applications.

Planet Inventory provides physical asset and logical resource management in complex, multi-layer, multi-vendor environments, including Cyan’s Z-Series family of packet-optical transport platforms, as well as equipment from a broad range of third-party network equipment suppliers. It includes a dynamic set of tools to browse collected data, including an advanced search-driven Object Browser, as well as a dynamic Object Graph, showing the relationships between various object types, such as cards, ports and services.

Cyan said accurate network asset information helps network operators reduce operating costs and accelerate service availability. Cyan’s Blue Planet SDN system provides a centralized orchestration service from which network operators can configure and manage network-wide services. Because Blue Planet has direct access to the equipment, the data it provides represents the true state of the network. Operators may use this network-side data for a variety of needs, including inventory management.

"Rapidly changing demands on networks is causing an increased emphasis on the performance and ROI of network assets. As a result, many network operators are asking for a clear, multi-vendor view of what is in their network and how it is performing. Our Planet Inventory application significantly improves their visibility," stated Michael Hatfield, Cyan's president,

Cyan will offer Planet Inventory both as a cloud-based service and as a locally-hosted implementation.

GSMA: Average Mobile Data Speed 75% Faster in U.S. Than Europe

Europe now lags far behind the United States in the deployment of next-generation mobile technologies and the advanced services, according to a new report from the GSMA.

As recently as five years ago, the European mobile market was performing as well as, or even better than, the United States. However, since then, the situation has dramatically reversed. The report, developed in collaboration with Navigant Economics, explores the many factors that have contributed to Europe's lost mobile leadership and offers policy recommendations.

Some key findings of the report:

  • On average, U.S. consumers spend more each month than their EU counterparts and use mobile services much more intensely, consuming five times more voice minutes and nearly twice as much data.
  • The U.S. has opened up a large lead in deployment of next-generation technologies; by the end of 2013, nearly 20 per cent of U.S. connections will be on LTE networks, compared to fewer than two per cent in the EU.
  • Average mobile data connection speeds in the U.S. are now 75 per cent faster than those in Europe and by 2017 will be more than twice as fast.
  • Mobile investment in the United States has outpaced that in Europe, with capital expenditure in the U.S. growing by 70 per cent since 2007 while declining in the EU and the gap continues to widen.

"Europe was the early leader in mobile, with a wide range of companies pioneering the innovation that now benefits more than 3.2 billion men and women around the world," said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. "However, this report confirms the very sobering reality that Europe has lost its edge in mobile and is significantly underperforming other advanced economies, including the United States. While there are many factors that have contributed to Europe's current position, it is clear that enlightened policy reforms could bring improvement, creating substantial benefits for EU consumers and driving economic growth."

Some policy recommendations in the report: prioritise spectrum allocation and harmonisation; allow for efficient mergers & acquisitions; discriminations in favour of new entrants should be discontinued, allowing market forces to take hold; drive a single European market for mobile services; and encourage mobile innovation and investment in Europe.

Telefónica Announces Digital Wallet Joint Venture with Spanish Banks

Telefónica will form a joint venture company with CaixaBank and Santander to develop new business opportunities based on the latest mobile and communication technologies. The new company will build an online community to ease the connection between merchants and consumers when it comes to offers, discounts and promotions. It also plans to offer a Digital Wallet in which customers can keep all their cards, which will serve as identification in stores and for making purchases within the digital community, as well as being a person-to-person (P2P) mobile payment service for community members.

The companies described their agreement as the first such alliance in Europe between financial institutions and a telecom operator. They believed there is the potential to reach more than 600,000 businesses in Spain.  An international expansion is also part of the plan.

"There is a profound change happening in the way we buy things. Digital technologies are transforming how consumers research products and then identify the best prices, promotions or discounts. This joint venture combines the partners’ technical and financial services expertise to create an ecosystem for the benefit of both retailers and consumers," stated José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica.

Rogers and Videotron Announce LTE Network Sharing Deal in Québec and Ottawa

Videotron and Rogers announced a 20-year, LTE network sharing agreement in the province of Québec and the Ottawa region. The two companies will pool their efforts to quickly build out and operate a shared LTE wireless network.  The deal will deliver capital and operating savings, allowing both companies to reinvest in their customers and networks. Videotron and Rogers will maintain their business independence, including their product and service portfolios, billing systems and customer data.

In addition to the network sharing agreement, Videotron and Rogers have also come to an agreement regarding Videotron's unused AWS spectrum in the Greater Toronto Area. Videotron will have the option to transfer its Toronto spectrum licence to Rogers, subject to regulatory approvals, beginning January 1, 2014 for a price of $180 million.

Rogers said the deal builds on its extensive LTE footprint across Canada, including Montreal, Ottawa and Québec City. The fast-paced rollout of LTE infrastructure will position the two companies to meet the steadily growing needs of consumers and businesses, ensuring many more can enjoy incredibly fast speeds, throughput and take advantage of the latest and greatest LTE enabled devices.

Videotron serves 1,849,200 cable television customers in Québec, including 1,500,300 subscribers Digital TV. Videotron also has 1,397,300 subscribers to its cable Internet service, 420,900 subscriber connections to its mobile telephone service, and 1,274,000 subscribers to its cable telephone service.

"This agreement will benefit businesses and consumers and is part of Rogers focused, strategic game plan," said Nadir Mohamed, President and CEO, Rogers Communications Inc. "This network and spectrum sharing agreement, combined with the expansion of our LTE footprint, will allow even more consumers to experience the superior connectivity and incredibly fast speeds that LTE delivers."

"This is excellent news for our customers and our shareholders. This agreement will enable us to go farther and to do it faster and is indicative of our determination to anticipate our customers' needs and to maintain the close relationship we have built with them." said Robert Dépatie, President and CEO of Quebecor Inc. and CEO of Videotron.

Digital Realty Buys Six Buildings to Expand Austin Data Centers

Digital Realty Trust has acquired six buildings at the MetCenter Business Park in Austin, Texas for $31.9 million.  The facilities include operating data centers and flex office space totaling approximately 337,000 square feet.  The overall portfolio is currently 90% leased to a variety of data center, biotechnology, technology and/or telecommunications enterprises.

The six buildings are located adjacent to Digital Realty's data center at 7500 Metro Center Drive, near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.

"The acquisition of this portfolio achieves several key objectives for us," said Scott Peterson, Chief Acquisitions Officer at Digital Realty. "It expands our existing data center footprint in the Austin market, while providing stable cash flow immediately at an attractive going-in cap rate. Second, it provides near-term opportunity to add value by lease existing vacant space. And third, it offers the option to convert a portion of the property to data center space over the longer term as leases expire."

Verizon Pumps its Private IP network with 100GE Access

Verizon is bringing 100GE to the edge routers of its Private IP network, giving its enterprise customers faster access speeds to support growing cloud applications.  The company confirmed plans to implement the technology on the same U.S. and European routes where 100G long-haul is deployed. In addition, Verizon now is offering standardized 1GE and 10GE access for its Private IP network to continue to support the growing bandwidth needs of customer applications. Standardization of these services means quicker ordering and delivery, compared with previous processes.

Verizon's Private IP service provides the foundation for communication and business-process automation both within and between companies, including e-commerce, shared intranets and extranets, as well as video applications.

"The increase in demand for cloud and data center connectivity is driving the decision to expand our service offering to higher speeds in order to meet the bandwidth needs of our customers by providing reliable, high-performance and secure services," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of product technology. "Verizon is a leader in high-bandwidth technology, and extending 100GE to the edge is the next natural step for us."

"Our customers are transforming the way they access information and increasingly are looking to quickly turn their big data into information that offers real business advantages," said Rich Montgomery, Verizon group vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Asia. "Extending 100GE to the edge gives customers the connectivity they need to run their businesses most effectively while staying competitive in the global market."

Broadcom's Bluetooth Smart SoC Targets Android Peripherals

Broadcom introduced a new Bluetooth Smart system-on-a-chip (SoC) designed to connect a broader range of low-cost, low-power peripherals to work with Android-based smartphones and tablets.

Broadcom's new BCM20732 Bluetooth Smart SoC seamlessly connects peripheral devices like heart rate monitors, pedometers, door locks, lighting, proximity alarms, etc. that are powered by coin cell batteries.  It is powered by an ARM Cortex M3.  Broadcom said its new SoC makes it possible to operate Bluetooth Smart-enabled products for more than one year without recharging the small batteries that power them.

Broadcom also announced the contribution of its Bluetooth software stack, including classic Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart (formerly Bluetooth Low Energy) technology, to the Android Open Source Project (AOSP). The new Broadcom chip and contribution of its software will help drive proliferation of Bluetooth technology in the "Internet of Things" ecosystem. For more news, visit Broadcom's Newsroom.

"The integration of Bluetooth Smart into the Android community is a huge step forward for the 'Internet of Things'," said Brian Bedrosian, Broadcom's Senior Director, Embedded Wireless, Wireless Connectivity Combo Group. "Broadcom is committed to driving new standards of connectivity for OEMs by providing both software and hardware for simplified development of high-performance products. Adding direct support for Bluetooth Smart directly into the most widely used mobile OS will greatly expand the opportunities for users to easily monitor and control aspects of their health, fitness, and security for smartphones and tablets."

Telecom Italia to Spin-Off Fixed Line Infrastructure

The board of directors of Telecom Italia adopted a plan to spin-off the company's fixed line access business into a separate company. Infrastructure belonging to the separated company will include resources for developing and managing the passive access network (both copper and fibre) and the active components of the fibre, consisting of OLTs (Optical Line Terminals) and cabinets.

Telecom Italia said its new structure will guarantee all operators (OLOs and Telecom Italia) access to the fixed-line network, including Unbundled Local Loops (ULLs) and Virtual Unbundled Line Access (VULA) for next-generation networks leveraging FTTx and FTTH architecture.

Octasic Enables 20 km Small Cell Radius

Octasic released an updated version of its flexiPHY HSPA software, adding support for a cell radius of 20 kilometers.

Octasic’s flexiPHY software, which runs on Octasic’s OCT2224W base station devices and Octasic’s small cell platform products such as the OCTBTS2000 and OCTBTS4000, offers 3GPP-compliant physical layers for GSM, UMTS, and LTE, integrated with leading RNC and Iuh stack vendor products. This eliminates the need for OEMs to develop the baseband and stack portion of their design.

Octasic noted that small cells with a large radius could prove especially useful in rural areas or for applications such as emergency networks, search and rescue, public safety, and military deployments.

NSN and MediaTek Test Orthogonal Sub-Channel for GSM Spectral Efficiency

Nokia Siemens Networks has successfully completed testing of Orthogonal Sub-Channel (OSC) support for Voice services over Adaptive Multi-user channels on One Slot (VAMOS) handsets with the mobile chipsets provided by MediaTek. OSC, which was invented by NSN, improves the spectral efficiency for GSM.

Nokia Siemens Networks Liquid Radio Software Suite uses OSC to support up to four devices in one radio timeslot, providing up to double voice capacity in GSM.  The company said the OSC feature is currently in commercial use in networks serving more than 500 million users.

By enhancing OSC with support for VAMOS handsets, an average capacity increase of 5% can be provided, helping operators further reduce the capacity required for GSM and dedicate more network resources to WCDMA and LTE when they are re-farming spectrum. Successful compatibility testing with VAMOS capable chipsets is a major milestone in this development.

"Collaboration with MediaTek to implement OSC enhancements for VAMOS-capable devices puts us in a position to offer even better GSM spectral efficiency to our customers,” said Kimmo Virkki, head of GSM product management at Nokia Siemens Networks. “We will continue innovating in this area."

Nokia Siemens Networks’ OSC support is compliant with 3GPP GERAN release 9.