Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Agilent Teams with Azimuth to Offer FMC Test Solution

Agilent Technologies is teaming with Azimuth Systems to create a fixed-mobile convergence (FMC) test solution.

The FMC test solution is expected to be commercially available in the second quarter of 2008 and will combine Agilent's 8960 Wireless Communications Test Set with the Azimuth FMC Performance Test Suite.

The Agilent 8960 Wireless Communications Test Set is a one-box test set for wireless device development, manufacturing and repair of all major 2G, 2.5G, 3G and 3.5G wireless technologies. The Azimuth FMC Performance Test Suite includes a suite of automated test scripts that streamline the testing of VoWiFi and fixed-mobile convergence products to validate the functionality, performance and seamless mobility of devices and networks. Currently used by industry-leading service providers, handset manufacturers and semiconductor vendors, this test suite provides a full range of unique, repeatable performance and interoperability tests on converged Wi-Fi/cellular devices over a broad range of real-world environment dynamics. It also measures Wi-Fi performance in areas that end-users care about most such as dropped calls, battery life and call quality.http://www.azimuthsystems.comhttp://www.agilent.com

NTELOS Implements Ciena's FlexSelect

NTELOS, a Virginia-based integrated telecommunications provider, has selected Ciena's CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform family for its access and metro networks. The classic CN 4200 chassis has already been deployed in NTELOS' network upgrade, with plans to add the CN 4200 MC and CN 4200 RS chassis to support growing customer demand for high-bandwidth, Ethernet-based services such as broadband data, IPTV and evolving on-demand services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Ciena's CN 4200 is a WDM transport platform that offers on-demand programmability and support for any service. The CN 4200 platform allows network operators to groom, switch, and transpond a diverse range of client services, such as OC-3/12/48 and STM-1/4/16, GbE, Fibre Channel, FICON, and ESCON into higher-speed 2.7 Gbps (OTU-1), 10.7 Gbps (OTU-2), and 43 Gbps (OTU-3) transport streams. In addition, an "RS" chassis can function as a multi-degree Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM).http://www.ciena.com

AT&T Sees Rapid Rise in IP Traffic

AT&T has experienced an explosive growth in network traffic over the past two years, said John T. Stankey, AT&T Group President - Telecom Operations, speaking at the Merrill Lynch Communications Forum in New York City. Consumer broadband traffic has risen 145% in the past 2 years, while business traffic rose 60% in 2007 over 2006. Wireless data traffic was up 4X in 2007 over 2006. AT&T now delivers connectivity to over one billion devices on its network.

As the business continues to scale, managing the cost per megabit of traffic is becoming a critical factor. On this score, Stankey said the company's IP backbone delivered a 67% reduction in the cost per megabit carried in 2007 over the preceding year, while OC192 transport costs declined 83% from 2006 levels.

Some highlights from Stankey's presentation:

  • AT&T is now forecasting a 4X growth in IP backbone traffic over the next 3 years.

  • According to AT&T's monitoring, MSO cable modem traffic is consistently below the 6~8 Mbps advertised. The average speed often is below 1 Mbps.

  • AT&T is building out content server locations and network caches around the U.S. to enhance the end-user experience

  • The AT&T U-verse platform is expected to reach 30 million living units by the end of 2010

  • AT&T hopes to reach 40,000 U-verse installs per week by the end of 2008

  • In markets where U-verse has been available for more than 12 months, the penetration rate is 13.4%

  • New U-verse features for 2008 are expected to include a Photo and Media Sharing service (1H08), two HD Stream capability (2Q~3Q 08), Whole home DVR capability (2H08), CVoIP expansion, and copper pair bonding (4Q08).

  • The U-verse bandwidth profile has a 25 Mbps budget over a single copper pair line at up to 3,000ft. This supports 2 HD and 2 SD streams, 2 VoIP lines and up to 10 Mbps Internet service.

  • About 80% of U-verse customers will be on loop lengths of under 3,000ft. A pair-bonding solution will be introduced later this year for customers on longer loops. Pair bonding could also be used to deliver more than 2 HD simultaneous HD streams per home should the market demand it.

  • For SMBs, AT&T intends to introduce a "Business in a Box" CPE solution that integrates voice and data. The CPE will incorporate the following capabilities: router, LAN switch with PoE, firewall, WiFi/Wireless access point and IP VPNs.

An archived webcast of the presentation is available in the Investors Relations section of the AT&T website.


Sunrise Introduces Home Network Triple Play Readiness Assessment Test

Sunrise Telecom introduced a portable handheld test set designed to speed accurate verification of home networks for triple play deployments.

Field technicians can use the test set for various home network configurations, including Ethernet, WiFi, HomePNA and home wiring. Key tests include:

  • Home Wiring Testing -- identifies shorts, grounds and cable terminations, checks cable loss, verifies POTS voltage and places calls

  • HomePNA Analysis -- validates HomePNA copper and coaxial connectivity and performance for the entire HPNA network by measuring Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), throughput and packet loss

  • WiFi -- verifies signal strength, channel conflicts and provides a list of available channels

  • Ethernet Verification -- provides link status and speed to ensure connectivity

ECI Debuts FTTB Multi-service Access Platforms

ECI Telecom has added two new GPON and gigabit Ethernet (GbE) optical network units (ONUs) for fiber-to-the-building (FTTB) deployments to its broadband access product suite.

The new G-PoweRAM 48V is optimized for large multi-dwelling units (MDUs) in densely populated areas. This ONU, which features GPON connectivity to the building and VDSL2 within the premises, allows service providers to support as many as 48 subscribers on one unit. The G-PoweRAM 48V is based on network-processor technology, supporting advanced multi-play service-enabling intelligence functionality.

The new MiniCAB 8V is a compact device that supports up to eight subscribers and offers service providers the versatility to deploy either a GbE or GPON uplink, along with VDSL2 in the site.

Both products can be deployed with ECI's Hi-FOCuS Multi-Service Access Node (MSAN) Optical Line Terminator (OLT) to leverage existing in--building copper wiring. The GPoweRAM 48V and the MiniCAB 8V will be available in Q2 2008.http://www.ecitele.com

Proofpoint Closes $28 Million for Enterprise Messaging

Proofpoint, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, .closed a $28 million financing round for its unified email security and data loss prevention solutions. Proofpoint offers an email security and DLP solution for enterprises, universities and government organizations.
and its products are controlled by a single management and policy console. The new funds will be used to accelerate Proofpoint's continued global expansion, customer acquisition and product development initiatives.

The funding round was led by new investor DAG Ventures. All previous investors -- including Benchmark Capital; Bridgescale Partners; Inventures Group; JAFCO Ventures; Meritech Capital Partners; Mohr, Davidow Ventures and RRE Ventures -- also participated in this round, bringing Proofpoint's total raised capital to more than $86 million. http://www.proofpoint.com

Akimbo Refocuses on Internet VOD Software

Akimbo introduced an Internet VOD software solution for content providers' own websites. The Akimbo solution includes advertising system and supports multiple business models including ad-supported, transactional, subscription, download-to-own, download-to-burn, pay-per-minute, gift cards, account credits, etc.

To support the development of this new solution, Akimbo secured new financing led by investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and Zone Ventures.


Verizon Business Offers Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Managed Hosting

Verizon Business will be among the first carriers to introduced a Microsoft Windows Server 2008 managed hosting service beginning this spring.
The companies said Windows Server 2008 will give Verizon Business more control over security for its customers by better safeguarding data and protecting against server failure and intrusion.

The latest iteration from Microsoft includes enhancements that allow Verizon Business to offer customers a more streamlined server deployment that will accelerate time to market. For example, Windows Server 2008 eliminates much of Verizon Business' reliance on custom code and third-party tools previously required.http://www.verizonbusiness.com/us/itsolutions

Alcatel-Lucent Reports Optical Transmission Record: 16.4 Tbps over 2,550 km

In papers presented at this week's OFC/NFOEC conference in San Diego, Alcatel-Lucent reported optical networking milestones, including a new optical transmission record and three novel new photonic integrated circuits.

In a post deadline paper, Bell Labs researchers in its Villarceaux, France center, in partnership with Alcatel-Thales' III-V Lab and the optical solution company Kylia announced the successful transmission of 16.4 Terabits per second of optical data over 2,550 km. This transmission was achieved using 164 Wavelength-Division Multiplexed (WDM) channels modulated at 100 Gbps. The company said this represents a world record for capacity x distance at 41.8 Petabits/s.km.

Several new technologies were used, including a highly-linear, balanced optoelectronic photoreceiver and an ultra-compact, temperature-insensitive coherent mixer. This result is a critical step forward in enabling 100 Gbps Ethernet. It ensures the maximum exploitation of the fibre bandwidth to cope with future capacity needs, by providing very high information spectral density at 2bit/s/Hz.

Alcatel-Lucent also highlighted three other papers from Bell Labs researchers at Holmdel, NJ. They describe the development of three new photonic integrated circuits developed to achieve 100 Gbps with a high spectral efficiency. In the first of these papers researchers developed an integrated high-speed receiver using DQPSK modulation that is about 1,000 timers smaller than existing DQPSK receivers which are built out of discrete components. This new receiver could significantly lower the cost and size of 100 Gbps components. Another of these papers demonstrated a dual-polarization modulator with a 40 Gbps data stream in one polarization and a different 40 Gbps data stream in another one. This technique doubles the capacity of a link without requiring any additional bandwidth. The last paper in this series presents a modulator producing a 16-QAM signal format, used for systems with extremely high spectral efficiency. While this format is well known in wireless and satellite communications, its use in optics is new.http://www.alcatel-lucent.comhttp://www.alcatel-lucent.com/wps/portal/BellLabs

Alcatel-Lucent Boosts GPON card Switching Capacity to 250 Gbps

Alcatel-Lucent enhanced its 7342 Intelligent Services Access Manager Fiber to the User (ISAM FTTU) GPON platform with a new 250 Gbps switching capacity per network termination (NT) module and support for load sharing between the two NTs in a single shelf. The enhancements help guarantee the platform's non-blocking, future-proof characteristics for the deployment of IPTV, video-on-demand and other broadband services. Both can be added to the Alcatel-Lucent GPON shelves that are currently being shipped.

Alcatel-Lucent also enhanced the platform's uplink capacity to handle two 10 Gbps and two 1 Gbps uplinks per NT.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it is engaged in over 80 FTTx projects around the world, over 60 of which are with GPON.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

Nortel Reports Q4 Numbers, Announces Job Cuts

Nortel reported Q4 2007 revenue of $3.20 billion, down 4 percent year over year. Revenue was $10.95 billion for the full year, down 4 percent; however, excluding the impact of the UMTS Access divestiture, revenue increased by 2 percent in the quarter and grew by 2 percent for the full year. Compared to the third quarter of 2007, revenue grew by 18 percent. Nortel achieved Q4 Operating Margin (OM) of $244 million, an increase of 339 basis points compared to 2006 and achieved full year OM of 3.7 percent, the highest since 2000.

Nortel expects 2008 revenues to grow in the low single digits and OM to increase by about 300 basis points compared to 2007

Nortel also outlined the next steps of its previously announced Business Transformation plan. The company plans to cut its global workforce by approximately 2,100 positions and in addition move approximately 1,000 positions to higher growth and lower cost geographies. The plan also includes the sale of certain real estate assets. These actions are expected to result in annual gross savings of approximately $300 million, with total charges to earnings of approximately $275 million and cash outlays of approximately $250 million, however the actual costs could be lower with the redeployment of resources.

"Nortel continued to make strong progress in the fourth quarter as we completed a pivotal year in our transformation," said Nortel President and CEO Mike Zafirovski. "We are just over two years into a major transformation of Nortel. Significant progress has been made while upholding the highest standards of ethics and integrity. We have increased our profitability, improved organizational effectiveness and enhanced our competitiveness in the market. I am particularly pleased with the attainment of double digit productivity, which contributed to our gross margin improvements, and by our ability to shift significantly more R&D investments into growth and emerging new areas while reducing the overall R&D spend."http://www.nortel.com

Monday, February 25, 2008

Arcadian Networks Names CEO, Targets Wireless Monitoring for Energy Sector

Arcadian Networks, a privately held wireless telecommunications carrier, appointed Ed Solar as its new CEO. Mr. Solar, who joined the company in November 2007 as Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing, replaces co-founder Gil Perez, who will remain with the company as Chairman of the Board. Prior to joining Arcadian Networks, Solar served as Vice President, Sales and Marketing for Cellnet Technology Inc., which was acquired in early 2007 by Bayard Inc. for $705 million.

Arcadian Networks offers IP-based, wireless broadband field automation services for the energy sector in rural America. Arcadian Networks said its business model is focused on the imperative for US electric, gas, oil, and coal energy producers to augment, update, and replace legacy communication systems with state of-the-art broadband, IP-based wireless communications systems and services to enable 'smart' initiatives (smart grid, smart field, etc.). http://www.arcadiannetworks.com

Tellabs Names Robert W. Pullen as CEO

Tellabs has appointed Robert W. Pullen

as its new CEO, replacing Krish A. Prabhu, who announced his resignation last November.

Pullen, 45, began his career at Tellabs in 1985 as an electrical engineer. He has held a series of increasingly responsible positions in engineering, sales, marketing and services. Prior to being named CEO, Pullen was vice president and general manager of global services. From 2002 to 2005, he was senior vice president of North American sales. Previously, he served as senior vice president of optical networking.http://www.tellabs.com
  • Krish Prabhu was appointed president and CEO of Tellabs in March 2004. Michael J. Birck, a company founder, served as CEO of Tellabs for 27 of its 29 year history. Birck continues to serve as chairman of the board. Prabhu previously served as chief operating officer of Alcatel Telecom and CEO of Alcatel USA.

Ikanos Enables Multi-mode VDSL2/ADSL2+ Residential Gateways

Ikanos Communications introduced a single-chip Integrated Front End (IFE) that enables a new class of residential gateway capable of VDLS2 performance while simultaneously meeting DSL Forum's stringent ADSL2+ and ADSL performance specifications (TR-100 and TR-067 respectively). This multi-mode gateway capability simplifies the equipment purchasing requirements for service providers who are currently delivering ADSL or ADSL2+ and planning a future upgrade to VDSL2. Stocking a single multi-mode VDSL2/ADSL2+ RG potentially reduces the carrier's CAPEX and recurring operating expenses by moving to a "deploy once" CPE strategy.

The new Ikanos FXS60IF1 single-chip Integrated Front End (IFE) integrates the xDSL line driver, while reducing the external components and power consumption compared to existing solutions in the market.

It can be used in conjunction with a residential gateway processor, such as the Ikanos Fusiv Vx180, for full a multi-mode triple play residential gateway. The new IFE device also employs Ikanos' physical layer technology, such as high levels of impulse noise protection, Rapid Rate Adaptation (RRA), on-chip quality of service (QoS) and wire-speed network processor performance. http://www.ikanos.com
  • In October 2007, Ikanos Communications introduced a Rapid Rate Adaptation (RRA) technology designed to minimize noise-induced service interruptions over DSL connections. Noise over a broadband line due to sudden power surges or other sources can potentially cause dropped connections and interruptions of service. For IPTV viewers, even a momentary drop in the connection leads to retraining of the broadband line and a subsequent re-establishment of the IP connection -- a process than can take half of a minute. In the mean time, the TV program that is being watched and any VoIP sessions underway, are suddenly dropped. RRA minimizes such link drops by rapidly and dynamically adapting data rates to accommodate the additional noise without dropping the connection, thus improving service availability and the user experience.

Ixia's iSimCity Targets City-scale Triple Play Testing

Ixia opened "iSimCity," a proof-of-concept (PoC) lab capable of conducting city-scale testing of high performance, converged multi-play networks.

The new facility in Santa Clara, California, allows customers to access thousands of test ports and aggregate traffic in the range of 10-100 Gbps, emulate hundreds of thousands of subscribers/users and generate millions of routes with thousands of routing peers. They also can conduct system testing by emulating dozens of infrastructure servers, including load balancers, denial of service defenders, switches, routers, video servers, SIP proxies, and DNS and DHCP servers.

The iSimCity lab provides the ability to emulate fully-loaded IPTV networks with 100's of thousands of concurrent users. QoS and QoE can be measured for each service delivered, while running various "what-if" scenarios. The facility has already been used to test a 384-port Gigabit Ethernet switch from Force10 Networks.

In addition to the latest Ixia test boxes, modules and applications at iSimCity, Ixia will provide expert test methodologies and consulting services.

Ixia said network equipment manufacturers, service providers and enterprises often request proof-of-concept demonstrations, at scale, before they will commit to purchasing test applications and equipment. Both test hardware and software must function with the devices tested.

"Our goal is to provide carrier grade scale with real-world network emulation that will provide quick proof to our customers that Ixia's test solutions are essential in getting their products and services to market more quickly," said Atul Bhatnagar, Ixia president and COO.


JDSU Introduces Agile Optical Network (AON) SuperBlade

JDSU introduced its Agile Optical Network (AON) Superblade concept -- all major functions required for optical network transport integrated onto a single blade, significantly reducing size, cost and power requirements for network equipment manufacturers (NEMs) and service providers.

The AON Superblade will include very small blocks of wavelength selective switch (WSS) technology that JDSU has invented called the Nano WSS, erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) technology, and an optical channel monitor technology into a single-slot device. As with existing WSS technology, the Nano WSS can direct traffic in network nodes requiring greater than two dimensions, and provides colorless routing and switching, or the ability to direct wavelengths in several directions instead of in just a single direction.

JDSU is also developing a customized operating system-- called the AON Embedded Operating System - to ensure that AON Superblade seamlessly integrates within network equipment manufacturer's (NEMS) and service provider's unique network environments.

JDSU said its high level of vertical integration will allow for flexibility during the individual design and manufacturing of each optical element.
The company estimates that the new solution could be as much as 50 percent lower in cost compared to the total cost for all of the separate optical components currently used today. The AON Superblade will also be approximately four times smaller because all of the components will be integrated into a single-slot blade, compared to current solutions that can require up to four blades within NEM's systems.

Additional key benefits of the JDSU AON Superblade include:

  • Lower cost -- due to a highly consolidated assembly and test process compared to solutions with multiple discrete modules on multiple discrete blades.

  • Reduction in optical power loss -- power no longer has to travel through numerous connectors and splices between blades.

  • Reduction in operational complexity -- eliminates the need for multiple cards to be manually interconnected, which requires training.

  • Enhanced monitoring -- includes control software that allows for faster response times to system variances and automated alarm and fault isolation.

JDSU expects to be shipping the single blade solution by the end of calendar year 2008.

Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 Integrates with Cisco WAAS

Microsoft is collaborating with Cisco to offer Windows Server 2008 with Cisco WAN optimization in a solution for branch office environments. Specifically, Cisco will embed a virtualization component within its Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) appliance family that will help customers to host Windows Server 2008 services within their existing network infrastructure for branch offices. Cisco WAAS is an application acceleration and WAN optimization solution that optimizes TCP performance.

The two companies intend for Cisco to offer Windows Server 2008 preinstalled on its new virtualized Cisco WAAS appliances that are scheduled to be available later this year.

The companies said their collaboration will enhance enterprise WAN performance by making critical Windows Server 2008 services available to remote offices through integration with Cisco's WAAS solution. This will help ensure branch end-user performance for accessing centralized data centers and applications, while efficiently deploying locally critical Windows Server 2008 services, all through a common remote IT platform.

The Windows Server 2008 services that will be offered as part of Cisco WAAS platforms initially include Domain Name System (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP), Active Directory, and Print Services.

Emerson Unveils Centellis 500 MicroTCA System

Emerson Network Power unveiled its "Centellis 500" MicroTCA system featuring an injection molded plastic enclosure that houses a MicroTCA backplane, fans, power module, MCH, PrAMC 7211 processor Advanced Mezzanine Card (AMC) and three additional AMC payloads.

The Centellis 500 is a completely MicroTCA system available for under $5,000, or about half the price of previous generation MicroTCA systems.
Applications include IP-PBX, Packet Processing, VoIP Gateway, Network Point of Sales (POS), Industrial Automation, Access Router, WiMAX, Telemedicare, Remote Radiology and Patient Monitoring.


See also