Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Chile's Entel PCS Selects Ericsson

Entel PCS awarded a three-year contract to Ericsson to provide GSM/WCDMA/HSPA radio access and common core network equipment to expand and upgrade its existing mobile network across Chile. Ericsson will also provide professional services, including network design, deployment and systems integration. Deliveries will begin in the first quarter of 2008.

Ericsson Acquires Spanish IPTV Consultancy

Ericsson (has acquired HyC Group, a leading Spanish company in TV consultancy and systems integration with around 110 employees. The HyC employees will be part of the Ericsson's growing global services organization. The deal follows Ericsson's acquisition of Tandberg Television at the beginning of the year.

Israel's Partner Communications Selects Ericsson

Partner Communications, an Israeli mobile communications operator, has selected Ericsson for the replacement of third party 3G equipment existing in its network and the expansion thereof, and for the support and maintenance of the Ericsson elements in Partner's network. As a result, Ericsson shall become the sole vendor of Partner's 3G network.

Reliance Completes Acquisition of Yipes

India's Reliance Communications Ltd. received FCC approval

for its acquisition of U.S.-based Yipes Holdings, and subsequently closed the deal. The U.S. $300 million acquisition of Yipes was first announced in July 2007. The transaction, closed on December 19, 2007, is a key milestone in Reliance Communications' plan to become a global data communications leader.

Yipes, which is based in San Francisco, has a strategic network presence in the top 14 U.S. metros. The company claims nearly 1,000 enterprise customers.

Reliance said the combination of Yipes' enterprise Ethernet services with the private undersea cable system of FLAG Telecom (another Reliance subsidiary) will enable the creation of a global service-delivery platform with unmatched coverage and capability.

Vivendi Supports Merger of SFR and Neuf

Vivendi confirmed the planned merger between its subsidiary SFR and the Louis Dreyfus group relating to the potential sale of the latter's stake in Neuf Cegetel.

SFR is the second-largest mobile phone operator in France. Neuf Cegetel is the second largest broadband operator in France.

Commenting on the transaction, Jean-Bernard Lévy, Chairman of Vivendi's Management Board, stated: "This investment is a very attractive opportunity for Vivendi to strengthen its position and development in one of its main business sectors. The planned agreement would make it possible to merge two companies with increasingly complementary and healthy businesses and would create value for Vivendi shareholders."

SFR would finance this transaction through debt, notably with Vivendi granting a loan under market terms. To repay this loan, SFR has agreed to considerably reduce dividend payments that it would receive in the three next financial years.

Occam Wins Upgrade Project in Guam

GTA TeleGuam, Guam's largest telecommunications services provider, has selected Occam Networks to serve as the lead access equipment provider for a major upgrade of the telco's network. The first project includes upgrading 10,000 of GTA TeleGuam's 70,000 access lines. The company is pulling fiber directly to the home in some areas, to the curb in other areas, with other areas remaining with copper for the time being. GTA TeleGuam offers local, long distance and cellular phone service, as well as broadband services.

GTA TeleGuam has purchased Occam's Broadband Loop Carrier (BLC) 6252 ADSL2Plus and POTS Blade, the BLC 6640 Subscriber Trunk Gateway for GR303 signaling; the BLC 6312 Optical Line Termination Blade and the BLC 6450 Access Aggregation Blade for 10Gigabit Ethernet rings. Financial terms were not disclosed.

NetCee Releases its Ultra Packet Processor

NetCee Systems, a start-up based in Fremont, California, announced the availability of its Ultra Packet Processor, a deep packet inspection (DPI) engine with broad applicability in protocol analysis and pattern recognition.

NetCee said its Ultra Packet Processor can identify and process over one Trillion types of protocol at more than 50+ Gbps. The trillion number is derived by combining all the possible combinations of Protocols that can be identified from Layer 2 (Data Link Layer) to Layer 7 (Application Layer).

AT&T Supplies VPN for NYK Logistics

AT&T announced a contract to supply VPN services to NYK Logistics. The contract extends local and long distance voice services and a range of other communications services to 70 NYK locations worldwide. The new contract includes AT&T's Managed Internet Service (MIS) and specially designed Class of Service (CoS) capabilities. AT&T said its VPN solution will help NYK centrally manage global network applications. The solution also enables NYK to enhance security, to conduct network maintenance more efficiently and to establish network reporting capabilities to make worldwide transport shipments and tracking more reliable.

DSL Forum Advances BroadbandSuite Release 3.0

The DSL Forum today announced the approval of its latest Technical Report, TR-135 Data Model for a TR-069 Enabled STB and the amendment of TR-069 -- which is set to expedite IPTV rollouts and change the way operators manage their IPTV offering.

Closely following the release of BroadbandSuite Release 2.0, these new specifications are cornerstone to the pending Release 3.0, which will raise the bar to address triple-play augmented via VDSL2, GPON and bonded DSL over a QoS-enabled Ethernet architecture.

The DSL Forum said Release 3.0 will also provide support for multicast to enable IPTV streaming as well as integrated remote management of Set Top Box (STB) and attached storage devices. The full release is tentatively scheduled to complete late 2008.

TR-135 defines the data model for remote management of Digital Television (IPTV or broadcast) functionality on STB devices via CPE WAN Management Protocol (CWMP) as defined in TR-069 Amendment 2 and TR-106. This report provides the data model for describing STB capabilities such as PVR, IGMP, quality of service, as well as providing a means to enable video service performance monitoring. General use cases are also described in the report, including standard data model profiles that would typically be seen while remotely managing a device of this nature.

In TR-135, the Auto-Configuration Server (ACS) may perform some initial configuration of a newly installed STB, but its main functions are configuration of STB parameters for trouble management and collection of statistics for Quality of Service (QoS)/Quality of Experience (QoE) monitoring.

The goals of TR-135 are as follows:

  • Enable configuration by the ACS of those objects and parameters that are not the responsibility of the IPTV Service Platform.

  • Enable operational status monitoring and checking of specific parameters of an STB from an ACS.

  • Enable performance monitoring of an arbitrary set of STBs, from one to millions, through estimates of QoS and QoE

  • Support various types of STB, including DTT and IP STBs, with or without PVR and other optional functionality.

  • Accommodate STB devices that are embedded as part of an Internet Gateway Device (IGD).

  • Accommodate STB devices that are standalone, i.e. implemented in separate hardware devices.

The update to TR-069, TR-069 Amendment 2, which arose from collaboration and input from the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) organization. The DVB Project required support for Multicast download protocols. Working closely together, TR-069 Amendment 2 was developed and now contains changes that add support for Multicast downloads, including some additional fault codes, and for autonomous file transfers, transfers that were not directly requested by the ACS. These changes define CWMP v1.1, and therefore include some new rules for guaranteeing interoperability between CWMP v1.0, v1.1 and future CWMP versions.

Giancarlo to Step Down from Cisco, Joins Silver Lake Partners

Cisco's Chief Development Officer, Charles Giancarlo, 50,

has decided to step down in order to join Silver Lake Partners as a Managing Director. After joining Cisco through the acquisition of Kalpana in October 1994, Giancarlo started Cisco's business development organization, where he developed Cisco's M&A strategy. He initiated and then led Cisco's Small and Medium business activities including contributing to the development of Cisco's channel strategy. Giancarlo also initiated and led a large number of Cisco's advanced and emerging technologies including Unified Communications, home networking, wireless networking, security, video, and TelePresence among many others.

Silver Lake is a leading investment firm focused on large scale investments in technology, technology-enabled, and related growth industries. Its portfolio includes or has included Avago, Avaya, Flextronics, Gartner, IPC Systems, NASDAQ, NetScout, NXP, Sabre Holdings, Serena Software, SunGard Data Systems and Thomson.

"Charlie has been a close colleague and a good friend during the 14 years he has been at Cisco, and he has made many significant contributions to the company during that time," said John Chambers.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Nokia Siemens Networks Tests LTE at 173 Mbps

Nokia Siemens Networks, in partnership with the Heinrich Hertz Institut (HHI), reported mobile data rates up to 173 Mbps in a multi-user field trial of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology in an urban environment using the 2.6 GHz spectrum band.

During the trial, an LTE base station was installed at the top of the Heinrich Hertz Institut building in the center of Berlin. Cars with LTE test terminals were driven up to 1km away from the base station to measure the LTE cell's coverage and throughput.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the test confirms that LTE performance requirements can be met using 3GPP standardized technologies and it realized data rates of more than 100 Mega bits per second over distances of several hundred meters, while maintaining excellent throughput at the edge of typical urban mobile radio cells.

It also proves that LTE makes optimum use of the OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) and adaptive multi antenna technologies, as well as the intelligent algorithms used to schedule user traffic to the radio resources in multi-user environments. This enables substantial optimization of network capacity and, in combination with a scalable flat network architecture, this will provide substantial benefits for operators offering mobile broadband connectivity.

"As the world continues to move closer to our vision of 5 billion people connected by 2015, mobile operators will need to use all of the available spectrum with minimum network complexity and maximum cost efficiency to handle a 100 fold increase in traffic," says Stephan Scholz, CTO of Nokia Siemens Networks. "This field trial is an important initial proof of concept for LTE."
  • In May 2007, a group of leading telecom technology manufacturers and network operators comprised of Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, France Telecom/Orange, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, T-Mobile, and Vodafone, launched a joint initiative aimed at driving high performance mobile broadband networks based on 3GPP Release 8 "Long Term Evolution / System Architecture Evolution" (LTE/SAE) specifications.

    The LTE/SAE Trial Initiative targets mobile broadband peak data rates exceeding 100 Mbps. In line with 3GPP requirements, LTE/SAE aims to provide a mobile broadband service that outperforms both 3GPP Release 6 HSPA, as well as current fixed line DSL data rates while maintaining and extending the highly successful mobility and coverage benefits of 3GPP networks such as GSM.

BT's CEO Received Honorary Knighthood

BT chief executive Ben Verwaayen has been made an honorary knight

of the British Empire (KBE) by Queen Elizabeth. Verwaayen, a Dutch national, will receive his Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire from a cabinet minister early in the New Year.

CableLabs Awards DOCSIS 3.0 Qualifications

CableLabs awarded the firs qualification status certifications for DOCSIS 3.0 products.

Casa Systems received "silver" qualification while Arris and Cisco received "bronze" qualification for their cable modem termination systems (CMTS) headend gear. The headends were tested under a tiered program that was created as a way to encourage CMTS makers to submit gear for testing earlier than they otherwise might. CableLabs also offered suppliers numerous informal interoperability events where vendors work together in CableLabs' facilities to test and evaluate their implementations of the specifications.

DOCSIS 3.0 specifications enable downstream data rates of 160 Mbps or higher and upstream data rates of 120 Mbps or higher. To achieve these higher data rates DOCSIS 3.0 describes a methodology for channel bonding in both the upstream and downstream directions. A minimum of four channels, each with throughput of 40 Mbps, is specified.

"This technological achievement is a great step for our industry," said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast Corp., and Chairman of the CableLabs Board of Directors. "CableLabs rapid certification effort will enable companies to begin to develop products that will support the rapid deployment of DOCSIS 3.0 services in 2008."

CableLabs noted that its three-tiered program for CMTS qualification waived some of the more long-term DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS requirements. DOCSIS 3.0 modem testing was unchanged, with only one level of certification that is representative of compliance with the completed DOCSIS modem specification. DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS qualifications were Bronze, Silver and Full. Full DOCSIS 3.0 compliance ultimately will be the sole certification level for CMTS vendors since the two lower levels of qualification will be phased out as the full suite of criteria are made available by vendors.

VSNL Plans 1.28 Tbps TGN Eurasia Cable System

VSNL outlined its plans for the new TGN Eurasia Cable System linking Mumbai directly to Europe via Egypt.

The new cable system is being built in partnership with SEACOM and Telecom Egypt (TE), and will provide VSNL with 1.28 Tbps of new capacity on this route during 2009. It will also support future options for additional connectivity in the Gulf region as well as multiple locations in Europe.

"The plans to build the TGN Eurasia Cable System coupled with our recent announcement to build the TGN-Intra Asia Cable System is a major step towards VSNL's vision to offer seamless global connectivity at affordable prices," said Mr. Vinod Kumar, President, Global Data Solutions, VSNL.

Personeta Adds Voice Call Continuity

Personeta announced the general availability of a software module for voice call continuity (VCC) applications.

The new "My VCC" module, which is part of the company's "Converged Life" converged communication suite for consumers, allows users to make and receive calls on both cellular and Wi-Fi networks using a dual-mode handset and supports handoffs between networks for calls in progress, without any service interruption or degradation. Following the 3GPP standard for VCC, My VCC uses SIP to communicate with dual-mode handsets and has been certified with a number of third-party clients.

Personeta said its software has been tested by several operators, both in Europe and North America, using a variety of switching and signaling infrastructures. Because of its unique call-anchoring functionality, My VCC is particularly well-suited for service providers without cellular plants such as Mobile Virtual Network Operators and Internet Service Providers.

Qwest Wins $8.3 Million Contract at DoE Headquarters

Qwest Communications was awarded an $8.3 million contract from Energy Enterprise Solutions (EES) to upgrade the voice network at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). EES is the principal Information Technology support services provider for DOE headquarters facilities in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Under the project, Qwest will transition the DoE's existing voice switch to a Nortel Communications Server 2100. The contract also includes a Qwest QWave network solution to be deployed between the two DOE headquarter locations in the area. QWave is a fully managed, private, point-to-point service delivered over a 10 Gbps DWDM network. In addition to DOE headquarters, Qwest has installed and provisioned voice network modernizations at the department's major facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Los Alamos, N.M.; and Richland, Washington.

Global Crossing Deploys Ekinops Metro DWDM in US

Global Crossing has selected the Ekinops 360 optical transport platform to support its metro networks in the U.S. Specifically, Global Crossing is using the Ekinops 360 platform in metro DWDM optical networks in most major U.S. cities to transport high-capacity traffic at speeds of up to 10 Gbps. The platform connects metropolitan network nodes to long-haul networks and enables Global Crossing to provide Ethernet, SONET, and Wavelength services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

3Com Posts Lower Quarterly Revenue, Higher Margins

3Com reported financial results for its fiscal 2008 second quarter, which ended November 30, 2007. Revenue in the quarter was $317.8 million compared to revenue of $333.0 million in the corresponding period in fiscal 2007, a 4.6 percent decrease. Net loss in the quarter was $35.6 million, or $0.09 per share, compared with a net loss of $3.5 million, or $0.01 per share, in the second quarter of fiscal year 2007.

3com said this net loss increase was primarily a result of purchase accounting related to the acquisition of Huawei's 49 percent ownership of H3C. On a non-GAAP basis, net income was $13.0 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, compared with net income of $7.8 million, or $0.02 per share, for the second quarter of fiscal year 2007.

"We made progress in several areas of the business in the second quarter," said Edgar Masri, 3Com President and CEO. "While our overall revenue was lower than we anticipated, our gross margins were the highest they've been in recent history; we once again generated cash from operations; and we recorded our fifth consecutive quarter of non-GAAP operating profit. I also am very pleased with the progress of our Europe, Middle East and Africa region, which continued its rebound with strong top- and bottom-line improvements."

Ericsson Names Business Unit Global Services

Ericsson has appointed Jan Frykhammar as head of its Business Unit Global Services, effective as of January 1, 2008. Jan Frykhammar is presently Vice President, Head of Sales and Business Control within Global Services. In his new position, he will be a member of the Group Management Team.

PAETEC and Alcatel-Lucent Team on VoIP Resiliency

PAETEC and Alcatel-Lucent announced the first deployment of a new Geographic Redundancy solution that increases the reliability of PAETEC's VoIP network.

PAETEC said this deployment in its network, which already operated at "Five 9s" reliability, further minimizes the down time that may be caused by a catastrophic incident, such as a hurricane's direct hit on a central office. In such a situation, restoration could take minutes or hours in the most extreme of circumstances.

Geographic redundancy means that call-control components of the central office are deployed in two geographically disparate locations. One is "live", and the other is on "stand- by."

PAETEC's network has already been architected in a way that allows existing calls to remain connected without disruption in a scenario where the call-control component of the network becomes unavailable. In such a scenario, standing call traffic would continue to be routed over PAETEC's MPLS-enabled, IP network. With the implementation of geographic redundancy, the network can recognize an interruption and engage the back-up network controller or signaling gateway to also allow for the initiation and reception of new voice calls almost immediately.

PAETEC has deployed the Alcatel-Lucent back-up in Illinois and New York. The platform consists of the Alcatel-Lucent Network Controller, Signaling Gateway (SG) and Network Gateway (NG). This solution allows PAETEC to activate the back-up signaling gateway or network controller without dropping existing calls. The transitions to a geographically redundant component can either be automated or performed manually by an administrator when necessary.