Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cisco and Microsoft Discuss Collaboration and Competition

Cisco and Microsoft have agreed to collaborate in certain areas of network convergence while competing in others. At a press event in New York, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer outlined 7 specific technology initiatives where Cisco and Microsoft will focus their efforts. These are:

  • IT infrastructure based on the Microsoft Infrastructure Optimization Model and the Cisco Service Oriented Network Architecture

  • Security, including integration of Cisco's Network Admission Control (NAC) and Microsoft's Network Access Protection (NAP)

  • Management, including finding common ground in defining a new standard called Service Modeling Language.

  • Wireless and Mobility, including extending Cisco Unified Communications Manager to Windows Mobile-powered devices.

  • Unified Communications, in which the companies will work together in complementary areas while competing in others. Microsoft's approach is that software is the hub of all communications, while Cisco's approach is that the network is the hub of all communications.

  • Connected Entertainment, where Cisco is a formal member of the Microsoft IPTV ecosystem.

  • Small and medium-sized businesses

Nokia Siemens Networks Supplies Carrier Ethernet for China Telecom

Yunnan CTC (China), a branch of China Telecom, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks for the supply and implementation of Carrier Ethernet switches. Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will carry out a large-scale Carrier Ethernet switch deployment in China's south-western province of Yunnan. The deployment of SURPASS hiD 6650 Carrier grade Ethernet switches started at the end of July and the network is planned to start operations in September. Financial terms were not disclosed.

F5 Selects Mu Security for Automated Security Analysis

F5, which specializes in application delivery networking, is deploying Mu Security's Mu-4000 Security Analyzer to discover, document and eliminate potential security and robustness vulnerabilities for its BIG-IP and WANJet products. Mu's platform automates current vulnerability auditing and remediation processes throughout a product development lifecycle.

F5 customizes its Mu-4000 analysis for development processes including testing through dynamically generated and non-random Protocol Mutations. For example, SIP analysis ensures optimal VoIP application performance, as well as security and robustness readiness throughout F5's product line. By applying a rich suite of user-defined protocols over IPv4 and IPv6 transport, measurement and testing is automated throughout F5's product design, development and deployment phases, including product upgrades and patches. As a result, F5 is performing highly accurate and automated regression, trending and "negative testing."

Veraz Signs Global Energy and Technology for North American Distribution

Veraz Networks announced a new distribution agreement with Global Energy and Technology, a distributor of connectivity and convergence technology products with established sales channels into Tier 1 U.S. carriers as well as the Federal Government. Global Energy and Technology will distribute Veraz's I-Gate 4000 Media Gateways.

ZyXEL and Sprint Sign Deal for WiMAX CPE

Sprint Nextel has selected ZyXEL WiMAX Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) for use with its upcoming WiMAX mobile broadband network. ZyXEL will join Sprint Nextel's WiMAX ecosystem partners in helping incorporate mobile WiMAX technology in a range of computing, portable multimedia, interactive and other business and consumer devices.

ZyXEL's WiMAX product line includes the MAX-100 series PCMCIA card for mobile users and the MAX-200 series CPE, a plug-and-play router designed for home users, which will be used by Sprint. ZyXEL's product portfolio on the client/terminal devices also includes an Express Card, USB dongle, SOHO router, and both indoor and outdoor CPE for mobile WiMAX applications supporting 2.5GHz, 2.3GHz and 3.5GHz bands. ZyXEL's WiMAX product line also features the pico-cell and femto-cell base stations.

ZyXEL said its WiMAX CPE is currently in trial at more than 40 different sites throughout the world including major deployments in Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. ZyXEL has also been a major contributor for the M-Taiwan project, a nationwide WiMAX deployment in Taiwan featuring its 2.5GHz micro-base stations, Element Management Systems (EMS) and ASN gateways for a total end-to-end solution.

Verizon Introduces FiOS in Brooklyn

Verizon's fiber-based FiOS Internet service is now available to customers in parts of Brooklyn's Canarsie, Mill Basin, Georgetown and Bergen Beach communities. The service is also available in several buildings in Williamsburg and downtown Brooklyn. FiOS Internet is already available in many other New York communities, including the other New York City boroughs. Additional parts of Brooklyn and other New York neighborhoods will become eligible for the service as Verizon continues to deploy its new fiber-optic network.

Enea Enhances its Element Middleware Platform

Enea released Version 2.2 of its middleware platform, featuring higher levels of service continuity through an application management framework (AMF) that is aligned with the Service Availability Forum (SAF) AIS- AMF specification.

Enea's Element is a high availability middleware platform for telecommunications equipment. The latest release of Element adds the following:

  • Software Management - Management of application executables, image verification and synchronization, cluster boot, image distribution, and support for node-level upgrades

  • High Availability - Support for SAF AMF Service Units & Service Groups, and N+M redundancy model

  • Expanded Environment Support - Support for heterogeneous, mixed-endian processing environments

Sonus Outlines Access 7.0 Platform

Sonus Networks announced a new version of its enterprise and residential voice services software platform, enabling service providers to deliver IP-voice services regardless of the last-mile connection.

The Sonus Access 7.0 platform incorporates IMS/TISPAN-compliant access technologies and integrates with third-party or traditional last-mile connections.

Sonus said this latest release of its IMS network architecture allows local communications providers to deploy next-generation advanced voice and multimedia services, while optimizing the network to provide required safety and traditional call features.

Motorola Completes Acquisition of Leapstone -- IMS Software

Motorola completed its acquisition of privately-held Leapstone Systems. Financial terms were not disclosed. Leapstone is now part of Motorola's Home & Network Mobility business.

Leapstone's flagship Communications Convergence Engine (CCE) product suite is a real-time service delivery platform that enables fixed and mobile network operators to expand and evolve their service offerings through its Service Broker and Content Manager software products.
  • In May 2007, Leapstone released version 8.0 of its flagship Communications Convergence Engine (CCE) software, adding new capabilities aimed at IPTV providers. This includes a set of advanced blackout functions for regional sports events, as required by content owners. With this feature, enabled by Leapstone's Microsoft Windows-based middleware, IPTV providers can selectively allow content suppliers to automatically schedule, monitor and manage events for regional blackouts.

  • Leapstone was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in New Jersey.

Infineon to Acquire LSI's Mobility Business for $450 Million

LSI will sell its mobility products business to Infineon Technologies for $450 million in cash, plus a performance-based payment of up to $50 million payable in the first quarter of 2009. The division, which originally belonged to Agere Systems, designs semiconductors and software for cellular telephone handsets and complete chip-level solutions for satellite digital audio radio applications. It has about 700 employees.

"This move demonstrates our commitment to maintain and grow our leadership in the wireless market. The business acquired from LSI will significantly strengthen our position at important mobile phone makers and will add highly qualified experts to the Infineon team," said Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart, President and CEO of Infineon Technologies.

LSI said the sale is the result of its strategic review following its merger with Agere Systems on April 2, 2007. LSI now plans to pursue growth opportunities for its storage systems and storage and networking semiconductor businesses. Proceeds from the sale will be used for a stock repurchase program.

"This move demonstrates our commitment to maintain and grow our leadership in the wireless market. The business acquired from LSI will significantly strengthen our position at important mobile phone makers and will add highly qualified experts to the Infineon team," said Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart, President and CEO of Infineon Technologies.
  • In June 2007, Infineon Technologies agreed to acquire Texas Instruments' DSL Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) business. The transaction is expected to close in the summer of 2007. Financial terms were not disclosed.

  • In June 2007, LSI agreed to sell its consumer products business to Magnum Semiconductor for an undisclosed amount. The deal includes the LSI DoMiNo, Domino[X] and Zevio architectures, products and related intellectual property of the LSI consumer products business.

  • On 04-Dec-2006, LSI Logic first announced plans to acquire Agere Systems in an all-stock transaction with an equity value of approximately $4.0 billion. Under the deal, LSI and Agere shareholders will own approximately 52% and 48%, respectively, of the combined company.

  • Agere Systems was formerly the Microelectronics Group of Lucent Technologies. Agere was spun-off from Lucent in 2002.

Skype Identifies Causes of Two-day Outage

A huge number of users rebooting their PCs after last week's Windows Update from Microsoft triggered instability in Skype's peer-to-peer network, leading to the two-day outage for the service. The service was back to normal on Sunday.

In blog entry, Skype's Villu Arak said the high number of restarts affected Skype's network resources in an unforeseen way. Skype's network resource allocation algorithm was unable to keep up with the flood of log-ins as the rebooted PCs came back online. Skype said it has introduced a number of improvements to its software to ensure that the chain reaction does not repeat.

China Telecom Posts 1H07 Metrics -- 33 Million Broadband Users

China Telecom published key performance metrics for the first half of 2007, including the following milestones: 32.80 million broadband users and 223.78 million local access lines.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

One Minute Video: What is a Pseudowire?

One Minute Video

What is a Pseudowire?.

Presented by Thomas Mock, Sr. VP, Strategic Planning, Ciena

Thursday, August 16, 2007

FCC Schedules 700 MHz Auction for 16-Jan-2008

The FCC will commence its auction of the 700 MHz band licenses on 16-January-2008. Specifically, the auction (designated as Auction 73) will include 1,099 licenses in the 698-806 MHz bands, including 176 licenses over Economic Areas (EAs) in the A Block, 734 licenses over Cellular Market Areas (CMAs) in the B Block, 176 licenses over EAs in the E Block, 12 licenses over Regional Economic Area Groupings (REAGs) in the C Block, and one nationwide license, to be used as part of the 700 MHz Public/Private Partnership, in the D Block.

The FCC is currently seeking public comment on a number of procedural issues including, among other things, procedures for anonymous bidding, to enhance competition by safeguarding against potential anti-competitive auction strategies; applicants trying to combine multiple C Block licenses to place bids on packages of those licenses; block-specific aggregate reserve prices, to help assure that the public recovers a portion of the licenses' value; and offering licenses for the relevant block (s) in a prompt subsequent auction in the event auction results do not satisfy applicable reserve prices.
  • In July 2007, the FCC approved new rules for the 700 MHz band, which will become available for new services in 2009 as television broadcasters complete their DTV migration. In what is seen as a partial victory for Google and other Internet players, the FCC voted to require "open access" for devices and applications using services delivered in these bands, while not requiring carriers to sell wholesale capacity in the licensed spectrum. The FCC expects to commence an auction for this spectrum no later than January 2008.

    The "open access" requirement would allow consumers to use the handset of their choice and download and use applications of their choice, subject to "reasonable network management requirements that allows the licensee to protect the network from harm."

    The FCC also approved a framework for a 700 MHz Public Safety / Private Partnership between the licensee for one of the commercial spectrum blocks and the licensee for the public spectrum block. Under this arrangement, the Public Safety licensee will have priority access to the commercial spectrum in times of emergency, and the commercial licensee will have preemptible, secondary access to the public safety broadband spectrum.

Nortel Teams with Universities on 4G R&D

Nortel is conducting collaborative research on 4G technologies with several leading universities, including the University of Waterloo in Canada, The University of Texas at Austin, and National Taiwan University (NTU) in Taiwan. The R&D is aimed at improving spectral efficiency, and decreasing time to market for Nortel's 4G mobile broadband solutions, which include Mobile WiMAX (IEEE 802.16e), and the Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) cellular standards.

Nortel has also formed new partnerships with Mera Networks in Russia and Technische Universitaet Ilmenau in Germany.

National Grid Wireless Changes Name to Lightower

National Grid Wireless, a start-up based in Boxborough, MA, has changed its corporate name to Lightower. The name change comes after the completion of the purchase of the wireless assets, fiber optic infrastructure and wireless services organization by M/C Venture Partners and Wachovia Capital Partners, announced in May 2007.

Lightower's network infrastructure portfolio consisting of approximately 350 communications towers, access to over two million distribution poles, and an extensive dark fiber network in New England, with over 1,100 available route miles.

Lightower is also developing an outdoor distributed antenna systems (DAS). Its first, multi-carrier DAS in the US on Nantucket three years ago.
  • In May 2007, M/C Venture Partners and Wachovia Capital Partners agreed to purchase the US operations of National Grid plc. for approximately $290 million. National Grid Wireless US operates an extensive communications infrastructure portfolio consisting of approximately 350 communications towers and over 1,100 route miles of dark fiber.

Nokia Requests ITC Investigation Into QUALCOMM

Nokia filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that Qualcomm has engaged in unfair trade practices through infringing 5 Nokia patents in its CDMA and WCDMA/GSM chipsets.

Nokia is requesting that the ITC initiate an investigation and issue an exclusion order to bar importation to the United States of infringing Qualcomm chipsets, and products such as handsets, containing the infringing chipsets.

AT&T Outlines $100 Million Upgrades in Nevada

AT&T announced plans to invest approximately $100 million in Nevada throughout the next several years in fiber network upgrades, further broadband deployment and Internet-based technologies. The investments will be aimed at bringing new services, such as IPTV, to Nevada consumers. AT&T said the investment commitment is the result of the enactment of Nevada Assembly Bill 526, which reforms video-franchising regulations.