Thursday, November 22, 2007

Uganda Telecom Deploys UMTS/HSPA from Alcatel-Lucent

Uganda Telecom has deployed a UMTS/HSPA network from Alcatel-Lucent in time for this month's Summit of Head of States of the Commonwealth. As announced earlier this year, Uganda Telecom Ltd chose Alcatel-Lucent for the extension of its GSM/EDGE mobile network and for the deployment of the first third-generation UMTS/HSPA network in Uganda, one of the first such deployments in the East Africa region.

Under this contract, Alcatel-Lucent has provided Uganda Telecom with its comprehensive radio networking solution including base stations, radio network and base station controllers (RNC/BSC), wireless network management system solutions and engineering tools. Alcatel-Lucent was also responsible for network design and complete network deployment, including network integration and maintenance services. Additionally Alcatel-Lucent has supplied a new generation of microwave systems to optimize the transmission of voice and data traffic from the base stations to the core network, with the capability to adapt quickly and efficiently to the growth in traffic and services.

European Operators Take Skeptical View of Proposed EU Telecom Reforms

At the 5th annual conference of the European Telecommunications Network Operators' Association (ETNO) last week in Brussels, the CEOs of leading EU telecoms operators held a debate on the recent European Commission proposals for a review of the EU telecoms rules. The CEOs agreed that EU policy makers would do better by focusing on how to encourage private investment in high-speed broadband access networks rather than focusing mainly on how to achieve functional separation of the incumbent operators' wholesale and retail operations.

Speaking at the conference Mr. Bojan Dremelj, President of the Management Board of Telekom Slovenije, raised a number of serious questions regarding the direction where regulation is going and stated: "There is no need for overregulation which will reduce all of us to a 'grey average'. How can we ever become the most competitive economy in the world if we are stifling innovation? If we cut the wings of our big players, aren't we cutting the 'branch on which we are sitting'? Is this what Europe is aiming for?"

ETNO members welcomed the proposal by the European Commission for a more flexible management of radio spectrum to boost the deployment of wireless applications. They also noted the reduction in the number of markets to be subject to regulatory intervention but regretted that at the same time the European Commission is extending regulatory intervention to new technology, including risky fibre-based broadband access networks.
  • Earlier this month, The European Commission officially adopted proposals for a reform of the EU telecoms rules with the aim of creating a single European telecom market with a consistent set of regulations covering consumers in all 27 EU Member States. The plan calls for a new European Telecom Market Authority to govern national telecoms regulators in ensuring that market rules and consumer regulation are applied consistently, independently and without protectionism. To become law, the Commission proposals will now need to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council of Ministers. The European Commission believes the approval could be attained by the end of 2009.

Alvarion to Supply Mobile WiMAX Gear in Nigeria

Monarch Communications, a privately owned company and WiMAX license holder in several different states in Nigeria, has selected Alvarion's "4Motion" 802.16e Mobile WiMAX solution. Rollout is planned to begin in Lagos and later in Abuja and Port Harcourt. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Celtel Nigeria Selects Motorola for $70 Million GSM/EDGE Expansion

Celtel Nigeria awarded a US$70 million contract to Motorola to expand and enhance its GSM coverage in the southern part of the country. The deployment features the latest Motorola Reach GSM solutions, including EDGE capability for mobile data, and will provide comprehensive network expansion planning, integration, support and optimization services to Celtel as it extends network coverage.

Danaher Completes Acquisition of Tektronix

Danaher completed its previously announced acquisition of Tektronix. The deal was first announced in October.

Tektronix, which has annual revenues of approximately $1.1 billion, is a leading supplier of test, measurement, and monitoring products for networking.

Tektronix now becomes part of Danaher's Electronic Test platform, joining Danaher's Fluke and Fluke Networks businesses, and nearly doubling the platform's revenues.

Belgium's De Persgroep Selects Cisco Data Center Network Architecture

De Persgroep, a leading media group in Belgium, is using Cisco data center virtualization technology in its data center. The deployment comprises both network switching equipment and the Application Control Engine (ACE) switch, which virtualizes the data center application infrastructure. De Persgroep is deploying the Cisco Data Center Network Architecture to connect two data centers with more than 300 servers in Brussels to seven additional sites across Belgium and Holland. The solution includes Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Switches, Cisco Catalyst 4500 Series Switches and Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series Switches to form a core network capable of supporting Cisco data center services as well additional applications in the future.

Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) modules in the data center will support a range of data center operations, including firewall management, application switching and streamed media. The virtual partitioning technology in the Cisco ACE segments and isolates applications, enabling them to act as individual modules on a single server so that applications can be distributed across data center hardware, making more efficient use of computational resources. Web and business applications will be protected by Cisco PIX 500 Series Security Appliances and the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Firewall Services Module.

Cisco said a virtualized data center application infrastructure will help enable De Persgroep to manage the large fluctuations in Web traffic generated by the rolling news agenda, by sharing Web server resources more effectively as well as by "ring-fencing" other business applications against peak demand. Hits on the company's flagship website can vary by 60 percent from day to day, reaching 525,000. In two years the company expects the site to garner a million hits a day.

The Cisco data center solution at De Persgroep is being implemented by Telindus, a Cisco Gold Certified Partner.

France Telecom Secures Fixed-Mobile-Internet License in Niger

A consortium controlled by France Telecom was awarded a new global fixed-mobile-internet license in Niger for EUR 48 million. France Telecom has joined forces with Mr. Mohamed Rissa, a business leader from Niger , specialized in the Internet and telecommunications services sector, and Mr. Moctar Thiam, a long-standing investor in Orange Mali. Niger has a growing population of around 13 million people and a mobile penetration rate of under 5%.

France Telecom noted that it is already present in 12 African countries including five in West Africa.

Monday, November 19, 2007

RawFlow Launches P2P CDN

RawFlow, a start-up based in London, launched its new managed live streaming service, iCDN, based on P2P technology. RawFlow said its iCDN is designed to cope with conditions specific to live streaming such as peak traffic volumes and network congestion.

Lockheed Martin Supplies Advanced Extremely High Frequency Military System

Lockheed Martin announced a milestone in the development of the Advanced Extremely High Frequency (AEHF) military communications system with the delivery of the core propulsion module for the second satellite in the program constellation.

The AEHF system will provide global, highly secure, protected, survivable communications for all warfighters serving under the U.S. Department of Defense.

Lockheed Martin's said each AEHF satellite will provide greater total capacity than the entire Milstar constellation and offer channel data rates higher than the current Milstar communications satellites. The higher data rates permit transmission of secure, tactical military communications such as real-time video, battlefield maps and targeting data.

Zarlink Trims Financial Guidance

Citing a broader than expected softening of the telecommunication market, Zarlink Semiconductor trimmed financial guidance for its Fiscal 2008 third quarter ending December 28th, 2007.

On October 24, 2007 Zarlink had projected third quarter revenues of between US$55 million and US$58 million and a net loss of US$0.08 and US$0.10 per share. The Company now expects Fiscal 2008 third quarter revenue will be between US$48 million and US$51 million and net loss will be US$0.13 to US$0.15 per share in the third quarter.

Zarlink said it had anticipated seasonal softness in the residential cable gateway market. At the time, Zarlink expected that normal turns business would partially offset the seasonal softness. However, this seasonal softness is both broader and deeper than expected, and slowing deployment of new wireless and next-generation wireline equipment is impacting the ramp of Zarlink's new telecommunications products.

"We are confident that we are making the right technology choices as we rebuild Zarlink, and our key customers are continuing to invest in programs that require our next-generation networking products," said Kirk K. Mandy, President and CEO, Zarlink Semiconductor. "Presently, our revenue is impacted by seasonal softness, compounded by inventory concerns in our sales channels and the supply chains of our major customers. However, we do not believe that these inventory levels will lead to a prolonged downturn for our telecommunications products."

Zayo Bandwidth Launches Onvoy Voice Services Unit

Following its recent acquisition of Minneapolis-based telecommunications provider Onvoy, Zayo Bandwidth, a regional provider of high bandwidth announced the formation of a new business unit called Onvoy Voice Services and has appointed former Onvoy chief operating officer, Fritz Hendricks, president of the business. Onvoy Voice Services was formed to provide dedicated service to local exchange carriers (LEC) and other communications providers. The company currently provides switched access, long distance, SS7, directory assistance and operator services in more than 350 communities in Minnesota.

The company said it is currently processing more than one million calls, representing 10 million minutes of usage, using three switches.

MTS Ukraine Deploys Alcatel-Lucent's CDMA/EV-DO Rev A

MTS Ukraine launched its commercial wireless broadband network using third-generation (3G) CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A (Rev. A) equipment supplied by Alcatel-Lucent. The new network covers major Ukrainian cities.

Alcatel-Lucent supplied its CDMA Modular Cell 4.0 Compact base stations for the 450 MHz spectrum band, CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Radio Network Controllers (RNC), a base station operation controller and a network element management system as well as packet core network equipment. Alcatel-Lucent also provided network design, planning, deployment, operation, personnel training, and maintenance services, including remote technical support, repair, and local spares provisioning. Its partner in the project Kvazar-Micro - an international IT company that provides products, solutions and services in Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) - managed the overall network integration. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Orange Signs WiFi Deal With The Cloud

Orange announced a WiFi roaming agreement with The Cloud, giving Orange customers access to The Cloud's network of thousands of WiFi hotspots across the UK.

Orange already has WiFi agreements in place with BT OpenZone, France Telecom and WeRoam. In the UK this latest agreement extends Orange's WiFi access to more than 10,000 hotspots.

Verizon Offers 20 Mbps Symmetrical FiOS for $65/Month

Verizon began offering its symmetrical FiOS Internet service for consumers in Tampa Bay, Florida, featuring upstream and downstream connection speeds of up to 20 Mbps. The new symmetrical FiOS Internet service is available for $64.99 a month with an annual service plan.

The company has also quadrupled the upstream connection speed of its fastest FiOS Internet service with no increase in price. This new service features a downstream connection speed of up to 50 Mbps and a new upstream connection speed of up to 20 Mbps.

Telefonica Selects Nominum Foundation Caching Name Server

Telefónica Deutschland has selected Nominum's Foundation Caching Name Server (CNS) to support its VoIP services in the German communications market. DNS traffic grew considerably when Telefonica Deutschland expanded its services from broadband data to VoIP. The existing DNS infrastructure needed to be adjusted and modernized in order to be prepared for continuous future growth. Telefonica Deutschland opted for Nominum CNS instead of adding more servers to boost network availability and performance, which would have increased administrative overhead and raised operational costs.

Malaysia Readies Mobile Number Portability Clearinghouse with Telcordia, UC

Telcordia, in partnership with Unified Communications, a provider of carrier-grade telecommunications solutions, are supplying a Mobile Number Portability Clearinghouse in Malaysia. The deployment will occur in the first half of 2008.

Telcordia has now supplied its number portability solution in nine countries, processing millions of transactions annually for more than 180 service providers who serve fixed and mobile subscribers.

Bharti Airtel Selects Mformation for Device Management

India's Bharti Airtel selected Mformation's mobile device management (MDM) platform for enabling new data services and managing the mobile devices of its more than 48 million mobile subscribers.

Specifically, Bharti Airtel will use MFORMATION SERVICE MANAGER to configure, diagnose, update and manage advanced mobile devices through every phase of their lifecycle. Mformation's platform will be critical to the launch of new mobile data services and applications such as Instant Messaging and device browsers. In addition, Bharti Airtel's enterprise customers will benefit from a hosted device management and security solution that gives each enterprise complete control over the mobile devices, applications and services used by their employees.

New Edge Networks Builds MPLS Net for Integrated Power Services

New Edge Networks, the business communications unit of EarthLink, completed installation of a managed private network for Integrated Power Services, a national industrial electric motor repair and consulting firm.

New Edge Networks said it installed, tested and activated within 60 days a 12-site fully managed, private network based on MPLS.

Integrated Powers Services uses its MPLS network to provide its service centers in 10 states throughout the country real-time access to ordering information, time management and financial systems.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fujitsu Introduces 10G Ethernet LAN-PHY mapper for WDM

Fujitsu Microelectronics Europe (FME) introduced a 10G Ethernet LAN-PHY mapper targeting Ethernet mapping and transport applications.
The device enables transport of multiple service types (both synchronous and asynchronous) including 10GE LAN-PHY or WAN-PHY, SDH/SONET STM-64/OC-192 or OTN OTU-2 signals. Fujitsu said its 10G Ethernet LAN-PHY device provides maximum flexibility to manage Ethernet LAN/WAN transport over metro and core networks and complements its family of products for 10G SDH/SONET and Ethernet applications as well as 40G SDH/SONET/OTN applications. The mapper also functions as a multiple-standard interface converter (XFI/SFI-4/SFI-5s), 2.5G or 10G asynchronous cross-connect and has two full-duplex 10G channels for protected terminal applications. It supports seamless integration to XFP modules on the client side and to standard 10G and 40G FEC devices on the network side.

Nokia Siemens Networks Targets Energy Efficiency -- 70% Savings in Base Stations

Nokia Siemens Networks unveiled the first phase of its environmentally sustainable business solutions by announcing plans to significantly improve the energy efficiency of its wireless networks, particularly the base stations and base station sites.

The four main elements of the solution are:

  • minimizing the number of base station sites;

  • minimizing the need for air conditioning to cool the sites;

  • using the latest base station technology; and,

  • deploying software features that optimize the use of radio access for wireless communications.

The company estimates energy consumption of a base station site can be reduced by up to 70 percent. Building a network with a minimum number of base station sites further increases energy efficiency. This can be achieved with software features to increase coverage.

Reducing or eliminating the need for air conditioning for base station equipment is another opportunity to increase efficiency. By increasing the ambient temperature to up to 40˚C, energy consumption can be reduced by up to 30 percent in existing base station equipment.

Nokia Siemens Networks utilizes a wide range of software features to improve base station energy efficiency by balancing consumption according to load. For example, because nighttime base-station traffic is much lower than during peak daytime hours, part of the base station can be shut down or its capacity can be set on power save mode at night.

Finally, in terms of base station power consumption, Nokia Siemens Networks has achieved levels of 800W and 500W respectively for typical GSM and WCDMA base stations. Going forward, the company has set even more ambitious targets: to further reduce the energy consumption of its GSM and WCDMA base stations to the 650W and 300W respectively by 2010.