Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Data Connection Enhances its GMPLS Software

Data Connection Limited (DCL) released enhancements to the optical extensions of its DC-RSVP-TE solution, including full support of end-to-end (e2e) label switched path (LSP) protection and restoration as per the IETF's draft-ietf-ccamp-gmpls-recovery-e2e-signaling specification.

Data Connection said its DC-RSVP-TE and related optical control plane products are utilized by the majority of the optical equipment manufacturers in the networking industry. The e2e LSP recovery feature, which enables full LSP recovery from ingress node to egress node of a GMPLS network, provides the following benefits to implementers of the technology.

  • Significant reductions in engineering costs, project risk, and time to market compared to in-house development.

  • Product and service differentiation through enhanced LSP recovery capabilities.

  • Architectural flexibility, as a variety of protection schemes are supported including 1+1, 1:N, pre-planned rerouting (including shared--mesh), and full rerouting.

  • Industry compliance and interoperability.

Key features of Data Connection's implementation of e2e recovery include:

  • High Availability. The characteristics of both working and backup LSPs are recovered using Graceful Restart (RFC 3473) and also replicated using DCL's Fault Tolerance for DC-RSVP-TE. This allows the creation of highly available system architectures and is utilized for hot software upgrade and downgrade.

  • Ease of use. Backup LSPs can be automatically provisioned based on the establishment of a primary LSP. Manual provisioning is also available.

  • Flexible resource sharing. In certain e2e recovery schemes the backup LSP may be shared for additional traffic. DCL provides the ability to override resource sharing via custom per-LSP criteria settings.

  • Multiple provisioning options. DCL's e2e recovery supports both uni- and bi-directional LSPs. Furthermore, after a failure has been resolved, users have the ability to revert back to the original working LSP.

Intel Demos Its First Mobile WiMAX Baseband Chip

During a keynote at ITU Telecom World 2006 in Hong Kong, Intel announced design completion of its first mobile WiMAX baseband chip. Combined with the company's previously announced single-chip, multi-band WiMAX/Wi-Fi radio, the pair creates a complete chipset called the Intel WiMAX Connection 2300.

The demonstration featured an Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology-based laptop with mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e-2005), Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11n), and high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) 3G capabilities successfully accessing the Internet at broadband speeds over a mobile WiMAX network.

Intel said it incorporated multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) functionality into the baseband chip to enhance the signal quality and throughput of wireless bandwidth. The baseband chip also employs the same software for Intel's WiMAX and Wi-Fi solutions to help ensure unified management for connectivity. Over-the-air provisioning supports easy configuration and enables consumer activation of services, shifting the traditional hands on service provider business model to a direct activation one based purely on consumer purchases of mobile devices. The baseband chip also has low power requirements for increased battery life and lower thermals to support smaller and thinner designs.

With the initial Intel WiMAX Connection 2300 chipset design now complete, Intel plans to focus on validating and testing the product, with plans to sample both card and module forms beginning in late 2007.


SeaChange Sees Growth in North American VOD

SeaChange, a supplier of digital video systems, posted total revenues of $42.3 million for its fiscal third quarter ended October 31, a 20% increase compared to total revenues of $35.3 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Net loss for the third quarter was $1.0 million, or $0.04 per share, compared with a net loss of $2.1 million, or $0.07 per share for the same period last year.

Revenues from the company's Broadband segment, which includes Video on Demand (VOD) and Advertising Insertion hardware and software, were $24.5 million, an increase of $6.4 million or 35% higher than comparable revenue in the third quarter of fiscal 2006. Year over year revenue growth in the Broadband segment for the third quarter was driven by a 74% increase in VOD system revenue, from $8.6 million in the third quarter of last year to $15.0 million in the third quarter of this year, as the company continued to see strong demand from North American cable customers as well as increased order activity from select EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) accounts.

"It's clear that we're benefiting from the strength of the video on demand business in North America and a steady increase in VOD adoption in other parts of the world, translating into another quarter of sequential VOD revenue growth," said Bill Styslinger, president and CEO.


BT Launches 21C Global Venture Business to Share NGN Expertise

BT is launching a 21C Global Venture (21C GV) business unit to market its expertise in next-generation networks (NGN) to other communication providers across the globe. The new business will leverage the unique experiences BT has gained in developing its 21st Century Network (21CN). BT estimates the addressable market for NGN services to be in excess of $50 billion over the next five years.

The first customer will be Turk Telekom, following a support agreement between BT and Oger Telecom.

Paul Reynolds, CEO, BT Wholesale said: "BT's 21st Century Network is the world's most ambitious next generation transformation program. As the first carrier to embark upon such a radical program, we had to create the manual as we went along. This included developing the business plan, driving the adoption of open standards among vendors, and bringing the rest of industry with us through open and transparent consultation. We've learned valuable lessons along the way. We can now help other operators implement or accelerate their NGN programs with the insights we've gained through 21CN over the last two years."http://www.btplc.com

Samsung Uses Agere for Thinnest Cell Phones

Samsung's Ultra Edition 6.9 (X820 bar design) and Ultra Edition 9.9 (D830 clamshell design) cell phones, which are the thinnest yet among its form factors, leverage Agere Systems' chip packaging design. The technique is called package-on-package (stacking) in which a packaged memory chip is stacked on top of the baseband chip package to reduce the overall area footprint. This enables single-sided component mounting so the phone itself can be made thinner in depth. Typically, cell phones have chips on both sides of the circuit board, making the cell phones thicker.

The Ultra Edition 6.9 (X820) measures less than one-quarter inch in depth (6.9 millimeters) and weighs only 66 grams. The Ultra Edition 9.9 (D830) measures 9.9 millimeters thick. Both are the world's thinnest of their types, according to Samsung. The cell phones contain Agere's Sceptre HPE 2.5-generation GSM/E-GPRS chip set.


Kineto and Extricom Test Enterprise UMA Solution

Kineto Wireless, a supplier of Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA) technology, and Extricom, a provider of enterprise WLAN solutions, completed interoperability testing between their platforms.

The companies said their testing validated what is believed to be an industry first: seamless handover and continuity of active UMA voice calls and data sessions between Wi-Fi access points in an enterprise wireless LAN environment.

Extricom's Wi-Fi infrastructure enables UMA-based sessions to move transparently between access point radios, without any interruption in service. Wi-Fi level security is maintained as well as the IPSec tunnel used to secure UMA services. The tests were conducted with multiple commercially-available UMA-enabled handsets, clearly illustrating the handset-agnostic benefits of the system. http://www.kineto.comhttp://www.extricom.com/

Broadcom Adds Gigabit Ethernet Wi-Fi Processor

Broadcom introduced a new Wi-Fi Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) processor that extends its Intensi-fi family of draft-802.11n solutions. The device is currently being used in the latest products from Linksys and Buffalo.

The company said that although current generations of 802.11n products deliver 4 times the throughput of 802.11g, performance is actually bottlenecked by the Fast Ethernet switch and network processor. By integrating a GbE controller and increasing the processor's clock speed to 300 MHz, Broadcom's latest offering eliminates those bottlenecks, allowing the system to achieve the theoretical maximum wireless 802.11n performance, nearly 8 times that of 802.11g.

Vodafone Turkey Selects Motorola

Motorola was awarded a major contract to upgrade, extend and manage Vodafone's nationwide GSM network in Turkey. Under the eight-year contract, Motorola will modernize and upgrade Vodafone's radio access network to increase coverage and capacity. In addition, Motorola will assume responsibility for operational management of the network. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Verizon Business Builds Trans-Atlantic Mesh with Ciena CoreDirector

Verizon Business has deployed a highly-resilient mesh network based on Ciena CoreDirector Multiservice Optical Switches across its terrestrial and undersea cable network. The new configuration provides six diverse paths for rerouting traffic, if needed, on three major submarine cable network systems. Verizon has deployed Ciena CoreDirector multiservice optical switching platforms at locations in both the United States and Europe. Networked CoreDirectors continually evaluate the health of the network and maximize its resiliency.

Verizon Business now plans to expand this project to the terrestrial global IP network in both the United States and Europe in 2007.

Verizon said the six-way mesh ensures greater resiliency for customer voice and data traffic traversing the Atlantic Ocean. Previously, trans-Atlantic submarine networks used ring configurations to provide redundant paths. However, that architecture provides protection against only a single failure within any network ring. In the event of a service interruption on two or more segments of the same network system, no physical cable restoration is available until a cable ship is deployed to make repairs.

"Although mesh designs have been used in the past on terrestrial networks, we believe this is the most advanced design used for an undersea cable network system," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of Verizon Business' global network planning."

Ciena's CoreDirector mesh network is shared across multiple "working" routes using a unique "FastMesh" restoration technology that can dynamically reroute services around failures using available bandwidth anywhere in the network. In addition, CoreDirector supports multiple classes of service that map service levels to network resources by combining protection and restoration with routing and signaling intelligence so services can be delivered over the route with the appropriate level of protection and lowest cost.

Each customer circuit is assigned a specific end-to-end path. If there is a service interruption, transport equipment switches to protection circuits that are either pre-assigned or determined by the system. Traffic is rerouted to the next best available path or paths.


Verizon Sees Steady Improvement in FiOS Metrics

Speaking at an investment conference in New York, Verizon CFO Doreen Toben said that customer demand for and usage of FiOS services are steadily increasing.

She said "all of our FiOS metrics are moving in the right directions and closer to the long- term targets" that the company announced in September. The FiOS initiative's dilutive impact on earnings will peak in the fourth quarter 2006 and first quarter 2007, Toben said, with a steady quarterly improvement expected through 2007.

As previously announced, Verizon expects FiOS to generate positive operating income beginning in 2009, based in part on growing revenues from FiOS services combined with declining operational costs due to fiber network efficiencies.

Toben noted that the impact of FiOS dilution in 2006 and 2007 does not include costs savings related to moving a customer from copper-based services to fiber-based services. These savings are approximately $110 per line per year.

By 2010, Verizon is targeting 6-7 million FiOS broadband customers and 3-4 million FiOS TV customers.

Toben also said two recently closed transactions, involving Idearc Inc. (print directories) and Verizon Dominicana, have further strengthened Verizon's balance sheet and provided additional financial flexibility, creating value for shareholders.

http://www.verizon.comIn September 2006, Verizon provided a detailed overview of its FiOS buildout, including the following points:

Some key points of the announcement:

  • The fiber rollout plan is to pass 18 million premises by the end of 2010, or more than 50 percent of the approximately 33 million households in the company's 28-state wireline service area. The FiOS network build-out is on target to pass a total of 6 million premises by year-end 2006, with an additional 3 million a year planned through 2010.

  • FiOS is expected to generate positive operating income beginning in 2009, based in part on growing revenues from FiOS services combined with declining operational costs due to fiber network efficiencies. In addition, the company's total fiber investment is expected to be EBITDA-positive in 2008.

  • Verizon expects to invest $18.0 billion in net capital from 2004 through 2010. The total is net of approximately $4.9 billion that Verizon estimates would otherwise be required to maintain traditional copper-wire technologies over the same period.

  • Verizon expects to realize savings of approximately $1 billion in annual, ongoing operating expenses by 2010 as a result of the efficiencies gained from fiber network facilities.

  • Last month, average capital expenditures to pass a home were $873, less than the previously announced year-end 2006 goal of $890. The new year-end target is $850.

  • The cost to connect a home has been higher than expected. Last month, these expenditures averaged approximately $933, higher than the previously announced year-end 2006 goal of $715. The new year-end target is $880.

  • By 2010, these expenditures are expected to average $700 to pass a home and $650 to connect a home.

  • By the end of the third quarter 2006, Verizon expects to have more than 500,000 FiOS Internet customers, compared with 375,000 FiOS Internet customers at the end of the second quarter 2006.

  • Verizon has set a target of 725,000 FiOS Internet customers by year-end 2006, with the service available for sale to 5 million premises. This would represent a market penetration of approximately 15 percent, toward a 2010 goal of 35 percent to 40 percent -- or from 6 million to 7 million FiOS Internet customers.

  • Monthly churn rates, a measure of customer turnover, have been below 1.5 percent, indicating customer loyalty that exceeds the company's initial expectations.

  • By the end of the third quarter 2006, Verizon expects to have more than 100,000 FiOS TV customers, and the company estimates that about two-thirds of FiOS TV customers have discontinued their cable TV service.

  • Verizon has set a target of 175,000 FiOS TV customers by year-end 2006, making the service available to 1.8 million households. This would be a market penetration rate of approximately 10 percent.

  • Verizon currently has obtained franchises to offer FiOS TV to more than 1 million households.

  • Verizon's goal is for FiOS TV to have a market penetration rate that ranges from 20 percent to 25 percent by 2010 -- or from 3 million to 4 million FiOS TV customers -- based on its estimate that approximately 15 million households will be video-ready by then.

  • Nearly 80 percent of FiOS TV customers have purchased three services -- voice, data and video -- from Verizon.

  • Monthly churn rates for FiOS TV have mirrored those of FiOS Internet, or less than 1.5 percent.

  • In 2007, FiOS TV will add its own TV portal, home shopping and interactive broadcasting, gaming, and on-demand and multimedia enhancements.

AT&T Provides New MPLS Network for Boeing Linking 91 Locations

AT&T has built a 91-location MPLS-based network for The Boeing Company. Under a recently completed three-year, multimillion-dollar contract, AT&T helped link 91 Boeing sites in North America and the United Kingdom by providing a new VPN. Financial terms were not disclosed.


Global Crossing Opens PoP in Helsinki

Global Crossing opened a new Point of Presence (PoP) facility in Helsinki, Finland, that provides customers with direct access to global IP solutions over its MPLS-based network. The Helsinki PoP is a business gateway from the Baltics and Russia to Western Europe and provides customers with network access to Finland.

The company has deployed 10GigE PoPs across Europe in Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Global Crossing also noted that IP traffic increased 126 percent between the third quarter of 2005 and the third quarter of 2006.


Aruba Teams with OKI on Network Security

Aruba Networks and OKI Electric Industry Co. will join efforts to deliver network security for Next-Generation Networks (NGNs). The partnership combines Aruba's strengths in secure mobility technology and OKI's strengths in QoS technology for VoIP. Specifically, OKI will incorporate Aruba's wireless security technologies into AP@PLAT, OKI's network infrastructure for "Ubiquitous Services." The two companies will develop highly secure and reliable products in several areas including small- to large-scale secure WLAN, Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN) and Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions. The companies will also conduct joint marketing and develop channels, initially in Japan and China, and ultimately around the globe.


Monday, December 4, 2006

Internet2 Selects Infinera for Metro Networks

Internet2 has selected Infinera for metro network extensions to its new national backbone network, bringing its ultra high-speed connections to key international exchange points in major cities, including New York City, Chicago and Seattle.

In June 2006, in a joint release with Level 3 Communications, Internet2 announced its plan to deploy its new advanced nationwide research network over the Level 3 backbone. Level 3 is deploying Infinera's DTN optical system to enable Internet2 members to enjoy large-scale capacity and dynamic optical circuit provisioning. Scheduled for completion in mid-2007, the network is planned to provide 100 Gbps of bandwidth throughout the Internet2 network and offer other advanced features.

Infinera and Internet2 plan to demonstrate long-haul 100GE at a meeting this week. The New York-Chicago link will be used to carry SONET traffic in support of an uncompressed high-definition videoconference demonstration and then will be quickly reconfigured to transport Infinera's 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) demonstration. This demonstration will include sending a 100 GbE signal through the Internet2 network from Chicago to New York and back again, a total distance of 4,000 kilometers.


PMC-Sierra Introduces Residential Gateway Reference Platforms

PMC-Sierra introduced a suite of multi-service residential gateway reference platform, offering a range of WAN interface configurations including ADLS2+, VDSL2, Ethernet and EPON. These platforms, based on PMC-Sierra's VoIP-enabled Multi-Service Processor family, enable OEMs and ODMs to develop high-performance residential gateways optimized for enhanced Triple Play service delivery.

PMC-Sierra is showcasing its portfolio of solutions for fiber to the home and customer premises equipment, as well as solutions for wireline and wireless equipment at ITU Telecom World in Hong Kong.


Deutsche Telekom Reshuffles Management

The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom approved a new Board of Management and all Board members will now have cross-divisional roles. Two new members have been appointed to the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management - Timotheus Höttges as the Board member responsible for T-Com and Sales & Services in Germany and Hamid Akhavan responsible for T-Mobile and Product Development and Innovation.

As a new Board member, Timotheus Höttges will not only assume responsibility for the Broadband/Fixed Network strategic business area, but also for Sales & Services at T-Com and T-Mobile in Germany.

Hamid Akhavan will be taking the helm of T-Mobile. He will manage mobile communications companies in Western and Eastern Europe and take on additional responsibilities for an integrated market approach in Hungary, Croatia and Slovakia. Mr. Akhavan will also manage Group-wide innovation and product development in consumer business. He was Chief Technology and Information Officer of T-Mobile International to date and was appointed Group CTO in September.

T-Systems boss Lothar Pauly will continue to be responsible for the network and IT strategy and procurement in the infrastructure area, as well as the successful management of the Business Customer area.

  • In November, Kai-Uwe Ricke resigned as CEO of Deutsche Telekom and René Obermann was appointed as his replacement.

PMC-Sierra Introduces EPON Silicon for China

PMC-Sierra announced the availability of EPON optical network unit (ONU) and optical line terminal (OLT) silicon devices that support China Telecom defined algorithms and features for the Chinese telecom market. The new PAS6301 ONU chip for CPE and the PAS5201 OLT chip for Central Office equipment together provide an end-to-end EPON solution.

PMC-Sierra said it developed the devices to meet new China Telecom standards that define data encryption and decryption algorithms, quality of service procedures and classification protocols, making them ideal for emerging high-volume deployments in China.

Forward Error Correction (FEC) is provided in both the ONU and OLT devices, enabling higher split ratio and longer physical links in the access network. In addition, the PAS6301 includes VoIP support to lower the cost of providing voice over fiber. Both devices support large packet buffers for higher quality IPTV broadcast capabilities, which is a significant improvement over previously available devices.

Also, during the ITU Telecom World 2006 conference in Hong Kong, PMC-Sierra and ZTE Corporation are demonstrating interoperability between the ZTE GPON OLT and PMC-Sierra's GPON ONT reference design. PMC-Sierra's ONT is based on its gigabit/second "GigaPASS" FTTH architecture deployed in high volume in the EPON FTTH product line. The GigaPASS device architecture combines a wire-speed data path with an OEM programmable control processor with software OS and middleware software stacks. The GigaPASS architecture supports QoS-aware line rate processing for all packet sizes.


Atheros Launches Single-Chip 802.11g Solution for PCI Express

Atheros Communications introduced a low-cost, 802.11g PCI Express (PCIe) solution that integrates a low noise amplifier (LNA) and power amplifier (PA) in a single-chip digital CMOS package.

The solution is aimed at value-priced notebook PCs or traditionally low-cost desktop PCs. Atheros said its 2-layer minicard design delivers a 50 percent reduction in the printed circuit board (PCB) cost and a 25 percent reduction in rest of bill-of-materials (RBOM) component count over the previous generation's 4-layer design. The chip's digital CMOS design delivers physical data rates up to 54 Mbps and more than 300 feet of wireless signal coverage.


Asia's Largest Mobile Alliance Announces Name -- Conexus

Asia's largest alliance of mobile operators unveiled its new name -- Conexus -- and welcomed Smart Communications, Inc., the Philippines' leading mobile operator, into the group. With SMART's participation, the alliance has expanded its coverage footprint to over 130 million mobile subscribers in nine countries and regions.

The alliance's other members are Far EasTone Telecommunications Co., Ltd. (Taiwan), Hutchison Essar Limited (India), Hutchison Telecommunications (Hong Kong) Limited (Hong Kong and Macau), PT Indosat Tbk (Indonesia), KT Freetel Co., Ltd. (South Korea), NTT DoCoMo, Inc. (Japan) and StarHub Ltd. (Singapore).


Softbank Mobile Japan Launches IMS/3G with Ericsson

Softbank Mobile Corp in Japan launched its first IMS-based services using an end-to-end IMS system supplied solely by Ericsson. Services include Circle Talk (push-to-talk) and HotStatus (presence, group list management). Under the contract, announced earlier this year, Ericsson has provided all the infrastructure, system integration and support services.

Ericsson noted that it currently has 28 IMS system contracts for commercial launch and 60 additional trials distributed around the world.