Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Charter Picks Cisco for Cloud-driven Cable Video Service

Charter Communications has selected Cisco to supply key products for its next-generation video service over its HFC network.

In a press conference at CES 2015 in Las Vega the companies outlined the network architecture for the new service, which will use thin clients powered by cloud-driven user interface (UI) to deliver new features and experiences. The service will feature a new, cloud-based user interface that will work on any deployed set-top box in Charter's footprint.

Cisco will supply the cloud-based security suite, including downloadable security solution (DCAS) for set-top boxes, and seamless digital rights management (DRM) solution to support video services on a range of IP devices. Cisco will supply a substantial share of Charter's next-generation 'Worldbox' volume and will continue to supply CableCARD boxes until Charter migrates all current and acquired systems to the downloadable security solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Charter will offer both an HD only and an HD-DVR 'Worldbox' featuring dual IP/QAM capabilities, configurable up to 16 tuners, a DOCSIS 3.0 cable modem, 1 Gig of RAM, high-powered USB to enable future applications, and a terabyte of storage on the HD-DVR. Charter expects to launch its new fully featured cloud-based user interface, Spectrum Guide on Worldboxes, as well as on legacy boxes currently deployed within the Charter footprint.

"Cisco shares Charter's vision of the future of network architecture, where our network's intelligence is located in the cloud rather than in devices at the edge," said Tom Rutledge, President and CEO of Charter Communications. "We are excited that Cisco will be a key supplier of the Charter Worldbox, and that their Downloadable Security Solution and Digital Rights Management solutions will be part of Charter's next-generation, cloud-based video solution."

"Cisco greatly values our enduring partnership with Charter," said Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers. "We are proud to join Charter today to showcase the leading edge IP and cloud-based video solutions they are developing, and the Cisco products at their core. Charter's new video solution, featuring cloud-driven video experiences offered across many devices will be a huge win for Charter subscribers."


Global Capacity Builds a National Connectivity Platform

Global Capacity completed its previously announced acquisition of MegaPath’s Network Services business unit, creating a $300 million company uniquely positioned to change how businesses and service providers buy data network connectivity.

The deal covers Megapath's wholesale business and national colocation aggregation network. Pivotal Group, a private equity group, provided financing and retains ownership of the company.

Global Capacity said its combination of online applications and network reach enables efficient, cost-effective fulfillment of connectivity solutions to over 14 million businesses across the U.S.

Global Capacity's systems automate greater than 70% of orders from design to bill.  Its platform processes over 26 million connectivity quotes annually, with its One Marketplace analytics engine providing unprecedented visibility and transparency into the highly fragmented global connectivity market. The platform leverages 41 Points of Presence (PoPs), 2,007 Central Offices (COs) and over 4,500 last-mile network interconnections to deliver on its brand promise of Connectivity Made Simple to over 20,000 business and over 400 application service providers, telecommunication carriers, managed service providers and system integrator customers.

“The disruptive nature of the One Marketplace platform has become increasingly self-evident in the market, and the ability to accelerate the scale and competitiveness of our platform through the addition of these assets is very exciting,” says Jack Lodge, President of Global Capacity. “We will continue our drive to fundamentally change the landscape of the global data connectivity market, and this acquisition accelerates the pace at which we can continue to disrupt the status quo.”


Broadcom's DOCSIS 3.1 Cable Modem Chip Tops 1 Gbps

Broadcom has begun sampling a DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem system-on-a-chip (SoC) that support access speeds of over a Gigabit per second (Gbps). The company said its new BCM3390 cable modem SoC delivers video content with a nearly 50 percent increased efficiency on existing spectrum allocations and allows for the delivery and use of a new range of content and services. Key attributes include:

  • Full compliance with full DOCSIS 3.1 specification
  • Two OFDM 196 MHz downstream channels
  • 32 single-carrier DOCSIS 3.0 QAM downstream channels
  • Two 96 MHz OFDM-A upstream channels
  • Eight single-carrier DOCSIS 3.0 QAM upstream channels
  • Includes full software support for packet cable voice and e-router applications, including emerging RDK-B software for broadband modem solutions

Broadcom is offering a cable modem reference design with integrated Wi-Fi that provides up to 2 Gbps speeds in the home.

"Broadcom has engineered a breakthrough technology for operators to exceed Gigabit speeds on existing cable networks while simultaneously improving operational efficiencies," said Dan Marotta, Broadcom Executive Vice President and General Manager, Broadband & Connectivity Group. "With our new cable modem SoC, service providers can immediately begin to unlock the value of DOCSIS 3.1 to provide their subscribers with the best home networking experiences."


AT&T to Power LoJack's Telematics

AT&T will provide network connectivity to power LoJack's current and future telematics solutions for vehicle theft recovery and advanced fleet management.

"As LoJack continues to build on its current portfolio of telematics offerings and our strong history in the automotive industry, we're excited to collaborate with AT&T to deliver new connected solutions," said Randy Ortiz, President and CEO of LoJack Corporation. "In an increasingly connected world, both companies can work together to empower businesses with innovative solutions that drive operational efficiency and customer service needs, while also improving driver safety. The safety, security and protection of our customers is paramount to what we do at LoJack, and AT&T's successful Texting & Driving…It Can Wait campaign is a perfect example of why this collaboration is a natural and compelling fit."


WhatsApp Reaches 700 Million Monthly Active Users

WhatsApp announced that it now has more than 700 million monthly active users. The service is now handling over 30 billion messages per day.

The number of monthly active users was about 450 million in February 2014, when Facebook first announced plans to acquire WhatsApp.


Wireless Charging Groups to Merge

The Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP) and Power Matters Alliance (PMA) agreed to merge and establish an organization that will accelerate the availability and deployment of wireless charging technology on a global scale. The A4WP and PMA Boards will combine and feature a roster of global consumer brands, supply chain and market leaders: AT&T, Broadcom, Duracell, Flextronics, Gill Electronics, Integrated Device Technologies (IDT), Intel, Powermat, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics, Samsung Electro-Mechanics, Starbucks and WiTricity.

One of the main objectives of the new organization is to accelerate the transition to volume economies of scale of wireless power transfer technology to benefit consumers, mobile network operators, consumer-facing commercial and retail brands, and the consumer electronics industry, including its semiconductor and manufacturing partners.

"The 'standards war' narrative presents a false choice," said Kamil Grajski, Board Chair and President, Alliance for Wireless Power.  "Consider that the typical mass-market smartphone contains a multiplicity of radio technologies (Bluetooth, NFC, WiFi, 3G, LTE) each built around a vibrant ecosystem, whereas other devices are single-mode (Bluetooth headset).  The A4WP PMA merger is in the same spirit: enable the market to apply technologies to their best use cases."

"The key to volume economics is to combine best-in-class wireless power transfer technology with innovative cloud-based network services," said Ron Resnick, President, Power Matters Alliance.  "The best-in-breed combination of A4WP and PMA assures decision-makers throughout the industry of responsible stewardship of these essential contributing technologies."


Marvell Intros Wave-2 802.11ac Chipset with 4x4 MIMO

Marvell introduced a 4x4 MIMO chipset and reference design for Wave-2 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

Marvell’s new Avastar 88W8964 processor chip features built-in 802.11ac 160 MHz support and delivers up to 2.6 Gbps of peak data rate.

Marvell’s AP3200 Reference Platform combines the company’s ARMADA and Avastar product lines to deliver a total solution for enterprise and home connectivity applications, including fanless enterprise access points (EAPs), smart gateways, multi-room carrier-grade video distribution, small/medium business (SMB) routers, and network-attached storage (NAS) devices, among others. It integrates dual concurrent 802.11 radios with Multi-User, Multiple Input and Multiple Output (MU-MIMO).

The AP3200 Reference Platform features the programmable networking and security offload capabilities of the ARMADA product line, freeing up the host CPU utilization for managing the increasing bandwidth demand for services brought by the Internet of Things (IoT) and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) movements. The ARMADA-395 SoC also integrates a dual core host CPU running at up to 1.8GHz and embedded support for 1Gbps/2.5Gbps/10Gbps Ethernet speeds for addressing different levels of network speeds. These features, coupled with the industry’s most proven Transmit Beamforming implementation, make the AP3200 Reference Platform optimized for multi-stream, carrier-grade video distribution as well as other high performance, low latency applications.

“With the advent of IoT and the growing number of wireless connected devices in the home and enterprise, robust and secure wireless connectivity is an absolute requirement,” said Weili Dai, President and Co-Founder of Marvell. “In continuing our leadership position, our advanced wireless gateway platform enables our OEM and service provider customers to quickly and easily bring their products to market. Our high-performance Multi-User, Multiple Input and Multiple Output wireless gateway solution will enable a broad spectrum of applications making it possible for today’s consumers to have an always-on connected device experience.”


Ohio's Agile Networks Deploys Coriant

Agile Networks, a telecommunications company headquartered in Canton, Ohio, is deploying Coriant's 8600 Smart Router Series and its 8000 Intelligent Network Manager (INM) to underpin its fiber-grade wireless data services for metro and rural markets across the state of Ohio.

The Agile Network supports vital communications for emergency first responders and makes fiber grade service and carrier-class reliability available to more than three million locations in Ohio's metro and rural markets.

The Coriant 8600 Smart Router Series is designed for mobile backhaul, fixed and mobile convergence, and cloud computing networking. It provides an extensive Ethernet and IP/MPLS feature set and is LTE-ready. The Coriant 8600 Smart Router Series includes the Coriant™ 8611 Smart Router, a fully redundant, scalable network element for IP/Ethernet access aggregation and the Coriant™ 8602 Smart Router, a compact, low-powered router ideal for dense, remote and outdoor access network deployments. All Coriant 8600 Smart Routers are managed by the Coriant 8000 INM, an end-to-end network management solution that minimizes operational and maintenance costs.

"We have worked closely with Agile Networks to best serve the needs of their public safety, government and enterprise customers," said Joe Shilgalis, Senior Vice President of North America Sales, Coriant. "Our 8600 Smart Router Series provides Agile Networks with a new level of optical layer efficiency, scalability and automation that enables them to deliver enhanced service value to their end-user customers across Ohio."


Ikanos and SoftAtHome Offer Broadband Line Monitoring

Ikanos Communications and SoftAtHome, a provider of home operating platforms, announced a solution for real-time broadband monitoring and diagnostic tools for operators.

The combined solution of inSIGHT BXM and SOP, jointly designed by Ikanos and SoftAtHome, aims to the best QoS over increasingly complex broadband networks such as VDSL2 vectoring and, in the near future, G.fast.

The solution offers two benefits: proactively identify the cause of common wiring faults and noise interference problems; and secondly, help end-users to solve certain local home connectivity problems.

“Broadband quality of service monitoring and diagnostics are more necessary than ever to reduce carrier operating costs and ensure optimal quality of service for subscribers,” said Omid Tahernia, CEO of Ikanos. “Adding our inSIGHT BXM to SoftAtHome software allows the combined solution to diagnose physical-line problems and noise interference accurately in real time. It also extends the benefits of inSIGHT to a broader base of global carriers.”


D-Link's 11ac Router Delivers Up to 5.3 Gbps

D-Link unveiled its latest ULTRA Performance Series of 11AC Wi-Fi Routers and Adapters, including a high-end model that chart-topping wireless speeds up to 5.3 Gbps, far-reaching coverage, a revamped and intuitive user interface, and dynamic Smart Connect to automatically balance clients.

The routers boast an array of advanced features including Wireless 11AC Beamforming to enhance signal strength and throughput, Smart Connect to automatically assign clients to the wireless band providing the best bandwidth and an advanced QoS engine with a drag-and-drop UI to provide an easy way to prioritize applications and devices. In addition, the routers feature gigabit WAN/LAN Ethernet ports for high speed wired connectivity and are enabled with WPA or WPA2 security and Wi-Fi Protected setup to ensure network integrity and ease-of-setup.

"We've set the bar for how a Wi-Fi Router should look and perform," said Daniel Kelley, vice president of marketing, D-Link Systems, Inc. "Our new ULTRA Performance Series has everything a demanding user is looking for – three bands of Wi-Fi, fast speeds, beamforming, and QoS – all housed in an attractive form-factor that is sure to make a statement."


Meru Posts Disappointing Preliminary Results, Considers Options

Meru Networks announced preliminary results for the fourth quarter of 2014, saying it now expects revenues of approximately $21.0 million to $22.0 million, which is below the previously announced guidance range of $23.0 million to $27.0 million. The company announced a restructuring aimed to reduce breakeven from approximately $27.0 million in quarterly revenues to approximately $21.5 million to $22.5 million by the end of the first quarter of 2015.  Meru also said it has retained Deutsche Bank as its exclusive financial advisor to explore strategic options, including, but not limited to, strategic partnering of its technology and possible sale or merger of the company.

"We are disappointed with this performance, yet believe that our technology advantages can be converted into greater market adoption.  We are determined to optimize the mix of partners, channel distribution, and effective direct sales necessary to put the Company back on a growth track," said Dr. Bami Bastani, President and CEO of Meru. "Today we have taken a major step in further streamlining the company structure to accelerate decision making, enhance operational efficiencies, and reduce breakeven sales to position the company for profitability."


Pluribus Recruits Director of Global Alliances from Cisco

Pluribus Networks, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, announced the appointment of Anthony Rocca as senior director of global strategic alliances.

Rocca joined Pluribus from Cisco, where he spent the last two years as the converged infrastructure lead, the Americas, for the worldwide data center business unit, and two previous years as field strategist, the Americas, for the data center application services business unit. Rocca has spent more than 25 years in the data center market space working for companies such as F5 Networks, Citrix-Netscaler, and Cisco Systems.


  • Pluribus Networks features a "Freedom" architecture for integrating compute, network, storage and bare-metal hypervisor OS technologies.  The platform brings full bare-metal control and visibility into the network through Unix-style APIs to deliver inNetwork Application Programmability, inNetwork virtualization, inNetwork analytics and inNetwork automation. The solution is based on a distributed network operating system with hypervisor bare-metal virtualization capabilities of computing resources - CPU, memory, and storage - and merchant silicon switch chip. This is matched to a powerful server platform combined with a high-density 10/40 GbE merchant silicon switch and network processor.  The company's technology partners include Intel and Broadcom. 
  • Pluribus is headed by Kumar Srikantan (CEO), who was previously VP/GM of HW Engineering for the Enterprise Networking Business at Cisco where he was responsible for the HW engineering execution of Cisco’s Enterprise Networking portfolio.

Quantenna and Lantiq Partner on 802.11ac 4x4 Ethernet Routers

Quantenna Communications and Lantiq announced a joint solution for Ethernet Retail Router market that combines Quantenna’s QSR1000 4x4 802.11ac with the Lantiq GRX300 communications processor family.

The Lantiq /Quantenna AC2000 solution boosts 5GHz Wi-Fi performance by offering 4x4 11ac including MU MIMO, while optimizing the performance of 802.11n Wi-Fi with existing 1x1 and 2x2 clients.

“The Ethernet Retail Router market today requires highest performance 11ac technology, while there is still the need to serve existing 1x1 and 2x2 11n clients well. Through this strategic partnership with Quantenna we are able to address these market requirements with a single platform. By combining Quantenna’s 4x4 11ac and Lantiq’s 11n technology we are offering an extremely attractive solution for the Ethernet Retail Router market,” said Matthias Kindler, director of marketing, Residential Gateway