Wednesday, January 16, 2008

California Broadband Task Force Seeks Action

California must construct next-generation broadband infrastructure in order to position itself as a global economic leader in a knowledge-based economy, according to a newly issued report from The California Broadband Task Force (CBTF), which was commissioned by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in November 2006 to recommend means to remove barriers to broadband access, identify opportunities for increased broadband adoption, and enable the creation and deployment of new advanced communication technologies."

The Task Force determined that California is better positioned than most states on broadband availability and adoption,
yet the state lags behind key foreign competitors. For instance, the average advertised download speed available
in Japan is almost 95 Mbps, while the average in the United States is just under 9 Mbps. In California, available broadband speeds differ considerably be region. Ninety-five percent of Los Angeles and Orange County residents can subscribe to speeds of 10 Mbps or higher, while only 6 percent of Bay Area households are able to do so.

Other findings include:

  • 96% of California residences have access to broadband.

  • 1.4 million mostly rural Californians lack broadband access at any speed.

  • Barely more than half of Californians have adopted broadband at home.

  • Only half of Californians have access to broadband at speeds greater than 10 Mbps, (including both upstream and downstream speeds).

  • Broadband infrastructure is deployed unevenly throughout the state, from state-of--the-art to nonexistent.

The CBTF recommends seven key actions:

1. Build out high speed broadband infrastructure to all Californians -- advancing new incentives for deployment and improving existing programs will create a world-class broadband infrastructure in California.

2. Develop model permitting standards and encourage collaboration among providers -- developing a public-private partnership between local governments and broadband providers to endorse permitting standards will improve the speed with which broadband is deployed.

3. Increase the use and adoption of broadband and computer technology -- expanding the opportunities for Californians to access, use, and learn broadband, at home and in the community, will provide the foundation for a digitally literate society that is able to fully benefit from broadband technology.

4. Engage and reward broadband innovation and research -- promoting innovative uses of broadband technology and encouraging wider e-government use will result in quality-of-life improvements, while increasing demand for a robust broadband infrastructure.

5. Create a statewide e-health network -- implementing a sustainable statewide e-health network will improve quality of care across the state and simultaneously increase demand for broadband services.

6. Leverage educational opportunities to increase broadband use -- ensuring high-capacity broadband connections coupled with a robust technology support system, relevant curriculum, literacy standards, and off-campus educational partnerships will provide California's students with the skills they need to compete in a 21st century economy.

7. Continue state-level and statewide leadership -- continuing the California Broadband Initiative and supporting the creation of Community Broadband Leadership Councils will strengthen the statewide leadership necessary to drive broadband access and adoption across

The 84-page report is posted online.

Alcatel-Lucent names Andy Williams to Head Services Business

Alcatel-Lucent named Andy Williams to become President of the company's Services Business, replacing John Meyer who is leaving the company to become the CEO and President of Acxiom Corporation. Andy Williams currently heads the Network Operations business globally for Alcatel-Lucent's Services group. Previously, he headed the former Lucent Technologies European business. He joined the company in 2005 from IBM, where he worked for 25 years and held a number of senior leadership positions.

FairPoint Selects Occam for Network Upgrade in New England

FairPoint Communications has selected Occam Networks as the lead access equipment provider for a major broadband upgrade of its network in northern New England once the proposed acquisition of Verizon's wireline business in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine is closed. The first phase of the upgrade will include building 10Gig redundant Ethernet rings to over 200 Central Offices throughout the three-state region. Phase two will add over 50,000 DSL lines to rural areas that previously did not have broadband service. A key equipment supplier of Occam's is Laconia, New Hampshire-based Wilcom, which has been manufacturing telephone line test equipment and transmission products in New England since 1967. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.occamnetworks.com

The Cloud Acquires Germany's GlobalAirNet

The Cloud has acquired GlobalAirNet AG (Ganag), which provides Wi-Fi services to four and five star hotels in Germany. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ganag, based in Munich Germany, has over 5,300 Wi-Fi access points located in over 300 hotels, including Marriott, Swiss Hotel and Crowne Plaza, with further expansion contracted in the hotel sector.

The Cloud is Europe's leading independent mobile wireless broadband service provider with over 12,000 network locations and over 20,000 access points in the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and The Netherlands.

NEC and Sumitomo to Supply Microwave Communication Systems to Italy's Wind

Italian mobile phone operator Wind

has selected NEC and Sumitomo for the supply of advanced point-to-point wireless access systems based on the PASOLINK NEO platform. Italy has a prime mobile phone market, boasting a total of 80.3 million mobile customers, with market penetration of 136%. Wind serves more than 15 million mobile customers and holds more than 18% market share. NEC said one of the advantageous features of its PASOLINK NEO, as compared with other wireless access systems, is its ability to handle different transmission speeds and interfaces with the same platform. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Canada's MTS Allstream Selects Alcatel-Lucent for IPTV

MTS Allstream, a wholly owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. selected Alcatel-Lucent for its upcoming IPTV deployment. The service will be based on Alcatel-Lucent's Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture (TPSDA) and Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV and multimedia platform. MTS Allstream currently has the largest installed base of telco digital TV subscribers in Canada and was one of the first providers in the world to launch this type of service. This next-generation deployment will support an increased subscriber base and will allow MTS Allstream to launch into new markets.

Under the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its TPSDA architecture and will be the end-to-end network integrator. The solution includes an IP/MPLS network based on the 7750 Service Router (SR) and a broadband access network based on the 7330 Intelligent Services Access Manager Fiber-to-the- Node (ISAM FTTN). Also included is the Alcatel-Lucent 5750 Subscriber Services Controller, a flexible, modular and pre-integrated subscriber and policy management, the 5620 Service Aware Manager, a single management platform offering element, network and service management and the 5526 Access Management System for element management.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Alcatel-Lucent Notes Milestone: 50 Customers for Its Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture (TPSDA)

Alcatel-Lucent noted a company milestone: 50 service providers worldwide have now selected or deployed its Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture (TPSDA). MTS Allstream, a leading Canadian service provider, is the latest to select the architecture following wins with Portugal Telecom, Vodafone Portugal, Kenya Data Network (KDN), Denmark's NRGi Fibernet and Sweden's Fiberdata in 2007.

Alcatel-Lucent said its TPSDA provides an IP network foundation that leverages its broadband access, optics, Carrier Ethernet and service-aware IP technologies and couples them with robust subscriber and network management, and security capabilities. TPSDA is further supported by a comprehensive suite of Alcatel-Lucent design, deployment and integration services.

Other noted global operators who have chosen Alcatel-Lucent's TPSDA include AT&T in the U.S., SaskTel in Canada, Wind in Italy, Telekom Austria, in Spain, Telstra in Australia, and TT&T in Thailand.

TI Chairman Tom Engibous to Retire in April

Thomas J. Engibous, Chairman of the Board of Texas Instruments, will retire following the company's 2008 stockholders meeting on April 17. Richard K. Templeton, who has worked side-by-side with Engibous for the last 15 years, will become the company's new chairman, in addition to his current position as president and CEO.

Since 1996, when Engibous became CEO, the value of the company's share price has increased almost 5X. Engibous, who turns 55 in January, joined the company in 1976 after graduating from Purdue University. He was named president of the company's semiconductor group in 1993, a member of the board of directors in 1996, president and CEO in 1996, and chairman in 1998.\

Arbor Networks to Acquire Ellacoya for DPI Systems

Arbor Networks, which specializes in secure service control solutions, agreed to acquire Ellacoya Networks, which supplies carrier-class broadband service optimization solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ellacoya's e30 platform and e100 platform (a custom-designed 20 Gbps wire-speed DPI network hardware element) enable service providers to identify and manage network traffic dynamically by subscriber, service type, time-of-day, etc. Ellacoya's platforms provide granular reports on network usage; manage traffic dynamically with precision; ensure VoIP quality; identity and prevent network threats; and provide the basis for quota management, differentiated service plans and quality-assured premium services (IPTV, VoIP, streaming video).

Ellacoya said its deep packet inspection (DPI) solutions are deployed at the broadband edge and peering links in some of the world's largest Tier 1 service provider networks, providing precise visibility into traffic along with the ability to prioritize traffic on a per-subscriber and per-application basis. In addition, the Ellacoya solution is used to deliver new products and services, such as IPTV, digital video and on-demand quality-assured broadband services.

Arbor Networks builds network availability solutions that address denial of service (DoS) attacks, botnets, network worms and routing attacks and anomalies. Its product line includes the Peakflow SP for ensuring network integrity and availability, the Peakflow X for conducting network behavior analysis (NBA) to provide network visibility and real-time threat detection, and ATLAS, a globally scoped threat analysis network that relies on a sensor network deployed in Internet darknet space to monitor globally routable IP addresses.

Arbor believes that the acquisition positions the company to take advantage of a significant market opportunity as service providers place increased importance on traffic and service management in order to efficiently and securely deliver new, revenue-generating IP services. The company estimates that the combination of the traditional Infrastructure Security and Service Control and DPI markets creates a $750 million market opportunity in 2008, which should grow to $1.5 billion by the end of this decade.http://www.arbornetworks.com
  • Ellacoya Networks is privately held and based in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

  • Arbor Networks is also privately held and based in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Occam Announces Gigabit FTTH Deployment in Alabama

New Hope Telephone Cooperative, which is headquartered outside Huntsville, Alabama, has selected Occam Networks for the upgrading of its entire service network to point-to-point (P2P) Gigabit Ethernet fiber to the home (FTTH) network. New Hope Telephone has purchased multiple components of Occam's Broadband Loop Carrier (BLC) system, including the BLC 6312 active FTTH Blade, the 6450 10-Gigabit Transport Blade and 2342 FTTH ONTs. This next generation technology upgrade is made possible through funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service program.

Comstar Double is Broadband Base to 695,000 in Moscow

Comstar, the leading fixed-line telecommunications company in Moscow both in terms of revenues and subscribers, announced that its broadband Internet subscriber base almost doubled year on year to 695,000 users in Moscow by the end of 2007.

A total of 228,000 net new subscribers were added in the fourth quarter alone, which was nearly five times as many net additions as in the fourth quarter of 2006.

The 651,000 residential subscribers accounted for 94% of Comstar's broadband subscriber base at the year end. 198,000 net new residential broadband subscribers were added in the fourth quarter, including more than 66,000 new subscribers signed up by MGTS. Internet connection speeds of 1 Mbps or above were chosen by 97% of the new broadband residential subscribers signed up during the fourth quarter of 2007.

SFR and Alcatel-Lucent Test DVB-SH Mobile TV Terrestrial Network

SFR, the second largest mobile telecommunications operator in France serving some 18 million users, and Alcatel-Lucent completed a six month DVB-SH pilot in December 2007. The pilot used pre-commercial low-power terrestrial repeaters for the broadcast part, co-localized with several SFR's 3G+ operational sites. The broadcast signal from a satellite was emulated by a transmitter located in a high-altitude helicopter perceived as a fixed point. The mobile terminals used were pre-commercial terminals provided by Sagem Mobiles and Samsung Electronics offering an improved reception quality thanks to the antenna diversity related to the use of the S-Band (2.2GHz).

The companies said the tests validated that it is possible to reuse the 3G+ sites, towers and antennas in order to deploy a DVB-SH Mobile TV broadcast network in the frequency bands adjacent to UMTS (i.e. in the S band at 2.2 GHz, currently available all over Europe).

Furthermore, tests performed in the city of Pau (South-West of France), both outdoors and inside buildings, validated several fundamental assumptions on the performances of a DVB-SH network, notably the coverage, continuity and quality of service.

In particular, the tests confirmed that it only requires that portions of the 3G+ sites are equipped with DVB-SH repeaters to allow Mobile TV coverage inside buildings identical to the 3G+ coverage. This validates the economical efficiency of the deployment of a DVB-SH terrestrial network for Mobile TV broadcast with a very high coverage quality.

In addition, tests related to the satellite part of a hybrid DVB-SH network were performed using a helicopter as a fixed point at high altitude, thus emulating a geostationary satellite. These tests confirmed that, for the user of a mobile terminal in a pedestrian as well as a vehicular situation, the signals coming from the satellite perfectly combined with those coming from the terrestrial repeaters, in a transparent manner for the terminal.

The rigorous methodological approach followed in the framework of this test, which relies on the analysis of network deployment hypotheses at the same time real and diversified, shows the flexibility of Alcatel-Lucent's "Unlimited Mobile TV" solution. This solution allows the adaptation of the DVB-SH network deployment to the capacity needs (i.e. number of channels) and to the level of coverage desired by the operators, while securing the economic efficiency of the deployment and the perfect integration of the DVB-SH network with their preexisting 3G+ network.

With almost 18 million customers, SFR is the second largest mobile telecommunications operator in France. Operating its own GSM/GPRS and UMTS/HSDPA networks, SFR is able to provide a complete range of mobile telephony and multimedia services, as well as mobile data solutions to its personal, SOHO and business customers. SFR has become the operator of choice for new uses of mobile phones, having been the first operator to launch 3G and 3G+ services on the French market, and now boasts 3,5 million 3G/3G+ customers (September 2007). SFR benefits from a stable ownership structure, with two mahttp://www.alcatel-lucent.com
  • On August 22, 2007, the European Commission adopted a proposal to select systems for mobile satellite services at European level. If adopted by the European Parliament and the EU Council, this new selection mechanism will allow Mobile TV based on DVB-SH in the S-Band to develop across Europe beginning in 2009.

Arcor Selects NDS VideoGuard to Secure IPTV in Germany

Arcor, the second largest telecommunications provider in Germany, has selected NDS VideoGuard content protection to secure its new IPTV service. Arcor-Digital TV will initially be available in 51 German cities and communities offering digital TV and advanced entertainment services such as VOD. Arcor, which is a subsidiary of Vodafone, operates a nationwide broadband network with a DSL subscriber base of over two million connections.

The NDS solution features VideoGuard CA and DRM technology, which now provide security in over 50 Pay-TV platforms around the world. The hardware-based security components of the solution include CA/DRM security in the headend for linear and on-demand services, as well as authentication and content protection in the decoder chip in the set top-box.

NDS noted that there are now more than 78.6 million smartcards deployed worldwide for its VideoGuard system.http://www.nds.com

Strix Introduces In-Vehicle Mobile Wireless System

Strix Systems introduced an in-vehicle Mobile Wireless System (MWS) 100 that enables on-board video surveillance, VoIP and critical data applications for in-vehicle wired or wireless client connectivity in public safety, railway, municipal, strategic and tactical wireless broadband mesh networks.

The MWS 100 is designed for any vehicle type and works in concert with Strix's Access/One Outdoor Wireless Systems (OWS) to create an end-to-end mobile broadband wireless connectivity. Strix said its MWS achieves the longest reach and instant mesh hand-off compared to any other mobile wireless device on the market. The unit utilizes Strix Access/One Edge capabilities to achieve the continuous high throughput and low latency via intelligent radio algorithms with optimized channel selection, dual diversity, significantly enhanced roaming algorithms, and maximized signal strength via the highest power output. The MWS quickly detects new and alternate wireless nodes while traversing the larger wireless mesh network and instantaneously establishing best network path criteria for seamless transitions maintaining any video, voice and data sessions.

The MWS 100 supports 802.11a and high power (DSRC-C) 4.9 GHz for public safety applications or optionally 802.11g for unlicensed client access. The MWS also includes an Ethernet port for wired connectivity to in-vehicle laptops and on-board systems.

Strix is also introducing Strix Mesh OS 3.1 with mesh networking capabilities for transportation systems. In particular, Strix said its new "SuperCloud fleet management" capabilities completely shatter the concept of dynamic large-scale and long-distance mobile mesh networks. Current railway deployments with Strix Systems Access/One products enable unparalleled range and performance for track-side-to-train and in-train multi-car mesh networking. With Strix's new "SuperCloud" capability, locomotives and passenger or freight cars (carriages) can be changed without the need for configuration/reconfiguration. Any locomotive can connect to any carriage and all Strix Access/One nodes, including the MWS and OWS are fully visually managed from a centralized or other remote location. Other significant enhancements to Strix Mesh OS 3.1 includes the latest in fast roaming algorithms for wireless mesh networks, Intelligent background scanning, Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, high-speed mobile fast authentication services, multi-VLAN enhancements, Mesh and Edge management and more.

Ixia Appoints VP of Marketing

Ixia has appointed Anupam Sahai as vice president of Marketing. He previously served as Senior director and general manager, Software Products and Applications for the Voice division at Polycom. Sahai will report to Atul Bhatnagar, Ixia's president and COO.

Oracle to Acquire BEA Systems

Oracle and BEA Systems reached an agreement under which Oracle will acquire all outstanding shares of BEA for $19.375 per share in cash. The offer is valued at approximately $8.5 billion, or $7.2 billion net of BEA's cash on hand of $1.3 billion.

Oracle said the proposed merger with BEA would accelerate the development of a world-class suite of middleware for business applications. Oracle Fusion middleware has an open "hot-pluggable" architecture that allows customers the option of coupling BEA's WebLogic Java Server to virtually all the components of the Fusion software suite.

For the telecom sector, BEA Systems' Liquid Services Framework serves as a next generation Service Delivery Platform (SDP) based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). The BEA Liquid Services Framework addresses key areas of service delivery: IT service exposure, network service exposure, application exposure, service orchestration, application orchestration, business processes, legacy network element integration, charging, policy, network management, data management/provisioning, and integration with core network infrastructure (including IMS and legacy networks).

BEA's WebLogic Service Delivery Solution is used by network operator for mobile content delivery.

BEA provides a "Services Network" infrastructure for Communications Service Providers to deliver new IMS network services. The "Services Network" is a means of presenting the functionality of network capabilities in a consistent, managed, and contractually defined way.
  • In October 2007 Oracle proposed to acquire BEA Systems for $17.00 per share in cash, representing a 25% premium over the previous day's closing price of $13.62 and values the company at $6.7 billion. The Board of Directors of BEA Systems rejected that offer.

Alcatel-Lucent Gains JITC Approval on Two Metro Optical Products

The Alcatel-Lucent 1665 DMX Data Multiplexer and 1665 DMXtend Multiplexer have been certified as interoperable with the Defense Switched Network (DSN) by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC). As a result, these two metro optical products have been added to the DoD Approved Products List (APL). Both platforms are next-generation multiplexers designed for high-capacity voice, data and video transport.

LGS designs and delivers Transformed Communications and R&D-based technology solutions to the U.S. government community. Leveraging the world-class R&D of Bell Labs and innovation of Alcatel-Lucent, with global reach and expertise, LGS challenges itself to solve the unsolvable and deliver secure, reliable, standards-based solutions to its customers. LGS, headquartered in Vienna, Va., and with offices in California, Colorado, Maryland, New Jersey and North Carolina, was created by joining the Lucent and Alcatel Government business units and Bell Labs Government. http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Qualcomm Announces Marketing Changes

Qualcomm announced an executive reorganization including the creation of a chief marketing officer (CMO) position.

Jeff Jacobs, executive vice president, has been named CMO. Over the past several years leading global business development, Jacobs has built an organization that has played a significant role in the globalization of Qualcomm and the expansion of the business. In the newly formed CMO role, Jacobs will oversee global marketing, external communications and standards- related efforts.

Qualcomm will evolve the structure of its global business development organization by forming three overarching regional areas: Americas and India, Asia Pacific and Middle East/Africa and Europe. Each area will be led by a member of Qualcomm's executive committee:

  • Peggy Johnson has been named executive vice president of the Americas and India. Johnson previously served as executive vice president and president of Qualcomm Internet Services (QIS)/ MediaFLO Technologies (MFT).

  • Jing Wang has been promoted to executive vice president of Asia Pacific and Middle East/Africa.

  • Andrew Gilbert has been promoted to executive vice president and president of QIS/MFT and Qualcomm Europe.

XO Expands IP Services Portfolio and Offers Bandwidth-Based Pricing

XO Communications announced several significant enhancements to IP services offerings, including the launch of XO IP Flex, the nationwide availability of XO SIP, and the introduction of a bandwidth-based pricing offering for converged IP services. Highlights of the announcement include:

Bandwidth-based Pricing-- XO Communications claims to be the first major nationwide service provider to offer a pricing concept for converged IP services that eliminates pricing based on the number of voice lines. Unlike other approaches to IP pricing that still are based on traditional TDM services pricing models, XO's bandwidth-based pricing acknowledges that voice is simply another application on the IP port and offers rates based on the size of the port, not on the number of voice lines. Customers simply select an IP port speed from 1.5 to 45 Mbps, a calling plan and any additional features. Because voice is just another application on the IP port, customers pay nothing for incremental lines or voice channels provisioned within the port speed they have with their service. XO is offering this bandwidth-based pricing with its XO IP Flex, XO IP Flex with VPN and XO SIP services.

XO IP Flex --a new converged IP services bundle that upgrades and replaces XOptions Flex, XO's VoIP services bundle. XO IP Flex extends XO's VoIP services to larger business customers by offering new higher-speed bandwidth options including 4.5 Mbps and 10 Mbps, leveraging XO's robust Ethernet capabilities.

XO SIP Nationwide Launch -- the service delivers converged voice and data services to businesses with IP-PBX systems over a single, high-speed IP connection. SIP uses a native IP-based facility to manage all traffic between a customer's IP-PBX system, the XO IP network, and the Public Switched Telephone Network. XO SIP features include:

  • Dedicated Internet Access with Dynamic Bandwidth Allocation

  • Unlimited local calling

  • Unlimited site-to-site calling for multi-location customers with IP Flex, IP Flex with VPN and XO SIP locations

  • Long distance calling with choice of calling plans

  • Optional Voice Compression

  • Online Feature Management through the XO Business Center

XO SIP is currently interoperable with Avaya IP Office, Cisco Call Manager, Cisco Call Manager Express and Digium Asterisk Appliance. XO SIP also utilizes the BroadSoft BroadWorks VoIP platform to provide customers additional advanced IP-PBX features, including auto attendant, call center and voice VPN.

Monday, January 14, 2008

One Minute Video: What is GPRS Security?

One Minute Video presented by Nikhil B. Shah, Juniper Networks -- What is GPRS Security?

Jargon Buster