Sunday, February 19, 2006

Spirent Opens "Proof of Concept" Lab for Developers of 10 GigE

Spirent Communications is launching a "Proof of Concept" lab to assist network equipment manufacturers in the design and development of 10GigE switches and routers. Development teams can use the lab to validate product design viability prior to large scale investment in system development, manufacturing and testing.

The lab, located in Spirent's Sunnyvale, California office, features 64 ports of 10GigE with the latest Spirent TestCenter software. Spirent TestCenter offers test cases for switches/routers. The company also announced a new 2-port 10GigE Multi-MSA Test Module for the Spirent TestCenter system. This will allow users to scale to more than 100 test ports in a single rack, providing a high density 10GigE port test bed.

The Spirent Proof of Conceptlab offers integrated testing of scalability, quality of service and layer 2/3 security, which provides more realistic results compared with serial testing.

The Proof of Concept lab uses full line rate 10GigE Network Emulators from Anue Systems. Spirent has partnered with Anue Systems to offer customers the ability to precisely emulate delays and impairments found on a wide variety of live networks.

AT&T Outlines 2006 Global Network Expansion Plans

AT&T outlined its 2006 plans to expand its international network to better serve its multinational customers. Highlight include:

  • Extended dedicated MPLS-based IP access capabilities, giving service nodes in 127 countries,

  • Integration of more than 1,000 Frame Relay/ATM nodes in the legacy SBC 13-state region into the AT&T backbone network,

  • Installing seven AT&T Global Network nodes in Cyprus, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Malaysia, India and Vietnam.

  • Commissioning 16 additional network interconnections in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Russia, Vietnam, India, Japan, Brazil, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Guatemala, El Salvador and Dominican Republic giving greater in-depth country coverage.

  • More than doubling DSL broadband capabilities via alliance agreements with local carriers, in Finland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Portugal, Greece, Ireland, India, New Zealand, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan and Singapore. Plans call for DSL broadband access in up to 27 countries by year-end 2006.

  • Additional Ethernet connectivity in Canada, UK, France, Germany, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, Spain, Austria, India, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Australia targeting up to 20 countries by year-end 2006.

  • Additional satellite coverage in Afghanistan, Burkina-Faso, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Guinea, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Nepal, Brunei and Sri Lanka which will provide access from a total of 20 countries worldwide.

  • Expanding Wi-Fi capabilities through alliances, including providing access to AT&T Remote Access customers from more than 6,000 McDonald's locations across the United States; and an agreement with WeRoam and enabling 5,500 additional locations in countries across Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. The AT&T Wi-Fi footprint now includes to a total of more than 24,000 locations in 52 countries for these customers.

The international expansion is part of the new AT&T's previously announced $8 billion to $8.5 billion expected capital investment in 2006.

BT Deploys MPLS-based VoIP Network

BT announced a £12 million program that will see its current legacy TDM network replaced by an MPLS-based network across more than 30 countries. The project, part of BT's 21CN initiative, is due to be completed in March 2008.

BT said the new MPLS network will provide it with an increased capability to handle larger volumes of traffic and provide additional functionalities and enhanced features such as the ease of integration with any existing servers, standard interface for multiple applications, and the ability to deploy more integrated multimedia services such as audio and video conferencing, and video streaming.

The first phase of the program has already been delivered, offering services over the new platform in 12 countries. The new platform will be rolled out to three new countries per quarter while the legacy platform will be withdrawn in 2008.

"A single integrated voice platform with MPLS enables customers to leverage the true benefits of globalization, avoiding the complexities and overheads of a patch-worked networking environment. The investment also allows BT to easily integrate all of its global networks to achieve improved cost control and customer integration to convergence, said Tom Craig, president, IP Networking, BT Global Services.

City of London Chooses The Cloud for Wi-Fi

The City of London Corporation selected The Cloud, Europe's largest WiFi network operator, to install and manage a Wi-Fi network serving London's Square Mile. Expected to go live in the next few months with virtually all the City covered within six months, the WiFi network will be installed in existing street furniture including lamp posts and street signs, allowing City workers and visitors with WiFi-enabled devices to access the internet on streets and in open spaces.

National LambdaRail Reaches Fully Operational Status

National LambdaRail (NLR) has reached fully-operational status, providing advanced optical, Ethernet and IP connectivity over more than 15,000 miles of fiber across the United States.

The infrastructure provides researchers control over a nationwide network with up to 40 individual lightpaths running at 10 Gbps. The project is the result of over three years of work and nearly $100 million in funding by members.

NLR's WaveNet, FrameNet, and PacketNet services are already in use by more than a dozen research projects, including the National Science Foundation-supported Extensible Terascale Facility and OptIPuter projects; the U.S. Department of Energy's UltraScience Net project; CENIC and the Pacific Northwest Gigapop's Pacific Wave project; the CAMERA project led by CalIT2, the Venter Institute and UCSD's CEOA; the University of Virginia-led CHEETAH project; as well as Internet2's Hybrid Optical Packet Infrastructure (HOPI) project.

"The fully operational National LambdaRail infrastructure marks an unprecedented milestone for the U.S. research community," said Tracy Futhey, NLR Board Chair. "For the first time, a nationwide networking infrastructure is owned and operated by the research and education community, giving scientists flexible access to advanced networking capabilities and enabling experiments and collaborations across geographic barriers."
  • National LambdaRail (NLR) is a consortium of leading U.S. research universities and private sector technology companies.

  • NLR has deployed nine Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing Systems across the country. The project is also using Cisco Systems' 15808 and 15454 optical transmission platforms.

EarthLink Partners with EchoStar and DIRECTV

EarthLink announced separate partnerships with EchoStar Communications and DIRECTV to offer satellite TV service.

EarthLink will begin reselling the EchoStar's DISH service by the end of the first quarter of 2006 in select parts of the country. EarthLink will be responsible for marketing, account management, and billing inquiries. DISH Network will provide programming, installation, and technical support.

In other markets, EarthLink will offer a bundled package of DIRECTV service and EarthLink Internet services. This arrangement will also start by the end of the first quarter of 2006.

"EarthLink continues to evolve with the changing communications and entertainment needs of our customers," said Gary Sonnier, EarthLink vice president of consumer access products.


Ikanos Closes Acquisition of Analog's Broadband Line

Ikanos Communications completed the acquisition of the network processor and ADSL ASIC product lines from Analog Devices. The deal was valued at $31 million.

The acquisition provides Ikanos with Analog's "Fusiv" line of residential gateway processors and "Eagle" line of ADSL2+ modem products, along with associated product development and support teams. In addition, Ikanos plans to offer VDSL-based residential gateway solutions that integrate the Fusiv processor with its "CleverConnect" and FxS VDSL2 products.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

ADC Acquires G-Connect for IP Service Gateway

ADC has acquired all the outstanding shares it did not previously own of Israeli start-up G-Connect. The purchase price was not disclosed.

G-Connect develops, manufactures, and markets an IP service gateway system that serves large and medium-sized Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the U.S., Europe and Latin America. The company has a staff of 14 and was founded in 1996 as a subsidiary of Teledata Communications.

ADC said G-Connect's SG-1 gateway is a particularly useful for managing IP traffic in wireless municipal area networks (WMANs) that are an emerging segment of the broadband services market. The SG-1 provides key features including: user authentication, delivery of differentiated web-services/content, and flexible management of network traffic in real-time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

OIF Launches External Network-Network-Interface (E-NNI) Routing Project

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) is launching a new External Network-Network-Interface (E-NNI) Routing project aimed at formalizing routing inter-domain interfaces.

The Forum's Architecture & Signaling Working Group will lead the project to define information to be shared by ASON network elements and allow paths to be calculated for a connection through multiple network domains of optical switching equipment.

The new specification, titled E-NNI 1.0 Routing Implementation Agreement (IA), will be based on the provisional routing protocol used by the OIF in interoperability tests performed in 2003, 2004 and 2005.

The OIF plans to submit the completed E-NNI Routing IA to the IETF and other standards development organizations such as ITU-T after its ratification by the Forum's members anticipated for later this year.

Also, the OIF announced that it has established a liaison relationship with the IPv6 Forum and joined the Mountain View Alliance bringing the Forum's total number of such industry contacts to 15.

China Telecom Shanghai Deploys Juniper's TX Matrix Core Routers

China Telecom Shanghai is expanding its core IP network with Juniper Networks T-series core routing platforms, including the TX Matrix multi-terabit router. The T-series platforms will be added to Shanghai Telecom's existing base of Juniper Networks E- and M-series routing platforms and will provide the additional capacity, reliability and scale required to support increased demand for advanced IP-based services.

Shanghai Telecom currently uses Juniper Networks M-series multiservice platforms in smaller core sites and previously deployed the E-series Broadband Services Routers. The E-series routing platforms support Shanghai's ADSL subscribers, providing the advanced routing capabilities that will enable Shanghai Telecom's IPTV service.

The TX Matrix combines multiple T640 platforms to deliver multi-terabit scale.

Juniper said over 1,000 of its T-series core routers have been deployed in over 100 service provider production networks worldwide since the platform was launched in 2002.

Ericsson Awarded HSDPA Expansion Contract by Cingular Wireless

Ericsson and Cingular Wireless have reached an agreement that expands
Ericsson's role as a major supplier and integrator in the buildout of
Cingular's next-generation voice and data network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

With this contract expansion, Ericsson will provide Cingular with UMTS/High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) packet core and radio network equipment. Ericsson is also a supplier of professional services to Cingular.

Ericsson to supply HSDPA for mobilkom austria group

The mobilkom austria group selected Ericsson to upgrade their 3G networks to HSDPA. Deployments are underway and the network was launched last month in Vienna.

Under the contract, Ericsson will deliver commercial HSDPA hardware and software as well as implementation services to the members of mobilkom austria group. The solution enables peek download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps.

As of December 2005, Ericsson is the prime supplier to
49 out of 91 WCDMA commercially launched networks worldwide.

Telefónica Moviles Chile Completes R4 3GPP Trial with Alcatel

Alcatel and Telefónica Moviles in Chile completed a field trial of a Mobile Core R4 3GPP and its associated data backbone.

The solution, which is based on the Alcatel 5020 Spatial Atrium, can seamlessly interconnect and interoperate with the existing GSM/CDMA/TDMA core networks, as well as with mobile radio access systems from other vendors. The mobile core R4 3GPP and its associated data backbone consists of 1 call server, 4 media gateways and 8 data nodes, distributed across Santiago de Chile, Valpara�so and Rancagua. Additionally, it would allow growth for corporate customers and, in the future, fixed-mobile convergence.

The Alcatel 5020 Spatial Atrium is a multistandard MSC Server that controls distributed Media Gateways and manages call/session control for voice and data services. It can simultaneously support multiple generations (2G, 2.5G, 3G) and technologies (GSM/CDMA/TDMA/UMTS) of mobile radio access.

Additionally, the data solution supplied for mobile access aggregation and backhaul, based on Alcatel 7670 RSP (Routing Switch Platform) and ESE (Edge Services Extender) products, guarantees connectivity of multiple transport technologies (ATM, E1, Frame Relay, TDM, Gigabit Ethernet, IP,...) and quality of service through IP/MPLS technology.

France Telecom Launches Linux Phone Standards Forum

France Telecom launched a new initiative called Linux Phone Standards Forum (LiPS) aimed at accelerating the mass-market adoption of Linux-based mobile, fixed and convergent terminals.

France Telecom is inviting open source and terminal industry players to work together to ensure compatibility and enhance interoperability of Linux-based telephony terminals.

The founding members of LiPS Forum include Cellon, Esmertec, France Telecom, FSM Labs, Huawei, Jaluna, MIZI Research, Open Plug and PalmSource. Other operators and industry players are invited to participate.

Rotani Introduces VideoPuck for In-home IPTV over Wi-Fi

Rotani, a start-up based in Scottsdale, Arizona, introduced its "VideoPuck" technology for multicast IPTV in the home using standard Wi-Fi and HomePlug networking equipment.

IPTV service providers typically use multicast to simultaneously send video to a large number of subscribers. Originally designed for highly reliable wired networks, multicast does not provide the error correction required for wireless 802.11 and HomePlug networks. Continuous packet loss over 802.11 and HomePlug networks ultimately results in screen pixilation and poor video quality.

Rotani said its VideoPuck works with the company's "AirReferee" Wi-Fi technology to automatically eliminate packet loss over wireless networks and support the performance and quality required for IPTV and wireless video applications.

AirReferee reduces interference from adjacent wireless LANs and sustains network performance.

Rotani's VideoPuck and AirReferee designs are available to OEMs and ODMs via open licensing agreements.

JDSU Licenses AT&T Broadband Tools

JDSU announced a licensing agreement with AT&T Knowledge Ventures, intellectual property arm of AT&T, to expand its management solution with new NetComplete Broadband Tools featuring broadband capacity and performance management network technology developed by the AT&T family of companies.

JDSU's NetComplete Consumer Broadband Tools software helps service providers support improved capacity management, lower costs and reduce trouble tickets. It also helps to accelerate revenue for their current consumer broadband offerings and for new, next-generation services deployment.

The JDSU solution will now be enhanced with the Broadband Tools Suite, a software management tool developed by AT&T for its own broadband network.

XM Satellite Reaches 6 Million Subscribers, Acquisition Costs Rise in Q4

XM Satellite Radio Holdings ended 2005 with 5,932,957 subscribers, an increase of 84 percent over 2004. XM achieved net subscriber additions of 898,315. Later than expected activations from strong holiday sales brought the total to more than six million during the first week of January.

XM said it hopes to exceed nine million subscribers and reach cash glow break-even by year-end 2006.

For the fourth quarter of 2005, XM reported quarterly total revenue of $177 million, an increase of 113 percent over the $83.1 million total revenue reported in fourth quarter of 2004. XM's full year 2005 total revenue was $558.3 million, an increase of 128 percent over the $244.4 million total revenue recorded in 2004. These quarterly and annual increases in revenue were driven by our significant subscriber growth and increases in average revenue per subscriber in connection with our price increase implemented in the second quarter of 2005.

For the fourth quarter, subscriber acquisition cost (SAC), a component of cost per gross addition (CPGA) was $89 compared to $64 in the same period last year. CPGA in the fourth quarter was $141 compared to $104 in the same period last year. These increases were primarily due to higher marketing expenses to meet a one-time competitive event in the fourth quarter. For full year 2005, SAC was $64, a slight increase from $62 in 2004, and CPGA was $109, compared to $100 in 2004. In the first quarter of 2006, XM expects a more normalized market environment and projects that SAC and CPGA will decrease in 2006.

XM reported an EBITDA loss of ($199.4) million for the fourth quarter of 2005, including $25.3 million in de-leveraging charges, compared to an EBITDA loss of ($139.7) million for the fourth quarter of 2004, which included $41.6 million in de-leveraging charges. The full year EBITDA loss was ($434.3) million, including $27.6 million in de-leveraging charges, compared to a 2004 EBITDA loss of ($388.4) million which included $76.6 million of de-leveraging charges. The increased EBITDA loss primarily resulted from our increase in subscribers as well as the higher fourth quarter marketing expenses.

XM's net loss for the fourth quarter of 2005 was ($268.3) million as compared to a net loss of ($188.2) million in the fourth quarter of 2004. For the full year 2005, XM's net loss was ($666.7) million, compared to a net loss of ($642.4) million in 2004.

Nokia Wins New Mobile Contract with Cable & Wireless

Cable & Wireless awarded an International Frame Agreement to Nokia for the supply of GSM and WCDMA 3G radio and core networks. Cable & Wireless is a new mobile network customer for Nokia. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal covers radio networks, including the Nokia HSDPA solution; core networks, including the 3GPP release 4 compliant Nokia mobile softswitch; and services, including the unique multitechnology Nokia NetAct solution, which supports both 2G and 3G networks.

The 3GPP Release 4 architecture of the Nokia MSC Server System will allow Cable & Wireless to gain significant cost savings in the operation of its GSM and WCDMA 3G networks and will enable the operator to offer the most advanced mobile multimedia services to its customers.

See also