Sunday, March 23, 2008

Infinera Extends Just-in-TAM Program to 40 Gbps Module

Infinera extended its "Just-in-TAM" program to its 40 Gigabit Tributary Adapter Module (TAM). The Just-in-TAM program, introduced last year, is an Infinera commitment to ship most TAM modules anywhere in the world within ten days of receipt of customer order. Infinera said this enables record turn-up time by its customers for most services.

TAM modules slot into Infinera line cards at the endpoints of a circuit in an Infinera network. Installation of the TAMs, combined with software configuration of the circuit through the network, enables very fast turn-up of circuits and services in an Infinera network.

Infinera's 40 Gbps TAM, which has been available since last year, uses Infinera's Digital Virtual Concatenation (DVC) to map a 40 Gbps service over four 10 Gbps wavelengths, enabling 40 Gbps services to be offered over any fiber plant capable of supporting 10 Gbps services today.

Sun Awarded DARPA Contract to Develop Microchip Interconnect System

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded Sun Microsystems a $44.29 million funding for a five and a half-year research project focused on microchip interconnectivity via on-chip optical networks.

The project, which is part of DARPA's Ultraperformance Nanophotonic Intrachip Communication program, aims to accelerate the development of lower cost, high performance and high productivity systems using arrays of low-cost chips. The goal is to create high bandwidth, low latency, and low power interconnections between the parallel computing chips in such an array.

Sun said its program combines optical signaling with Proximity Communication, its key chip-to-chip I/O technology, to construct arrays of low-cost chips in a single virtual "macrochip." Such an aggregation of inexpensive chips looks and performs like a single chip of enormous size, thus extending Moore's Law; it also avoids soldered chip connections to enable lower total system cost. Long connections across the macrochip leverage the low latency, high bandwidth, and low power of silicon optics, and through this program Sun and DARPA will research technologies to dramatically further reduce the cost of these optical connections. The result is a virtual supercomputer.

"Optical communications could be a truly game-changing technology -- an elegant way to continue impressive performance gains while completely changing the economics of large-scale silicon production," said Greg Papadopoulos, chief technology officer and executive vice president of research and development for Sun. "Congratulations to Sun Labs and Microelectronics teams for their constructive creativity and for driving innovation into the semiconductor marketplace."
  • Earlier this month, researchers at IBM announced a nanophotonic switch for routing optical data between cores in future computer chips. Like a long-haul fiber-optic network, such an extremely miniature on-chip network will transmit, receive, and route messages between individual cores that are encoded as a pulses of light. IBM estimates that by using light instead of wires, as much as 100 times more information can be sent between cores, while using 10 times less power and consequently generating less heat.

    The report on this work, entitled “High-throughput silicon nanophotonic wavelength-insensitive switch for on-chip optical networks�? by Yurii Vlasov, William M. J. Green, and Fengnian Xia of IBM's T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. is published in the April 2008 issue of the journal Nature Photonics. This work was partially supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) through the Defense Sciences Office program “Slowing, Storing and Processing Light�?.

Sprint Names Elfman as President - Network Operations and Wholesale

Sprint Nextel named Steven L. Elfman to the new position of President - Network Operations and Wholesale, reporting to Dan Hesse, president and chief executive officer. Elfman most recently served as president and chief operating officer of Motricity, a mobile data technology services company, and before that held mobile data and technology leadership positions at Infospace, Inc., Terabeam and AT&T Wireless.

In his position at Sprint, which will take effect May 4, Elfman will oversee the combined network and IT organizations led by Chief Network Officer Kathy Walker, and the wholesale organization, which encompasses services sold to other telecommunications providers, led by Jim Patterson, who was recently named as President -- Wholesale.

Verizon Expands FiOS Rollout in Manhattan

Verizon has expanded the rollout of its FiOS fiber network to the residents of the 110-building, 11,232-unit Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village complex in Manhattan. Verizon FiOS Internet service is now available in seven buildings in the 110-building complex, and more buildings will be provisioned for service in the weeks and months ahead. Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village are located on 80 acres -- stretching from First Avenue to Avenue C, between 14th and 23rd streets, in Manhattan.

NTT America to Deliver IPv6 for The Planet

NTT America will deliver IPv6 connectivity for The Planet, which provides web hosting for more than 22,000 customers and 6.7 million web sites. Development on the project begins immediately, and The Planet expects to announce availability in late 2008.

By adding NTT America's IPv6 transit to The Planet network, The Planet will be able to offer each hosting customer a dual-stack approach for using both IPv4 and IPv6 simultaneously.

The NTT Communications Group provides IPv6 Gateway services that are available globally and allow enterprises to connect to the world's only commercial-grade Global Tier One IPv6 Backbone operating in four continents- North America, Europe, Asia and Australia-and serving thousands of customers. In addition, NTT has improved upon the inherent security features of IPv6 with the creation of its IntelliSecurity IPv6 Managed Firewall solution.

NEC to Resell VPIsystems' OnePlan network planning solution

NEC plans to resell VPIsystems' OnePlan network planning solution under its own SpectralWave ONP brand. Carriers will be able to purchase this customized version of OnePlan, specific to NEC products, to optimally plan and route their new and evolving networks, as well as create detailed design reports, including bills of materials and equipment information. The OnePlan solution will also allow these carriers to conduct extensive what-if analyses to not only discover path impairments, but also recommend design corrections to prevent failures.

NEC is planning to extend its use of the OnePlan solution in the coming months and is currently evaluating making further customizations and integrations, to make OnePlan an integral part of the company's existing optical network management solution.

VPIsystems' OnePlan offers service providers a single, cross-domain (geography, technology, discipline and network domain) integrated capacity and network planning capability for next-generation, IP-enabled infrastructure.

Comcast Offers Business Class VoIP for SMBs

Comcast introduced its "Business Class Voice" service aimed at small and medium-sized businesses across New England. SMB's may now subscribe to Comcast's Triple Play of cable television, high-speed Internet and voice services. Pricing begins at $99 a month.

Comcast Business Class Voice includes: unlimited local and long-distance calling for a flat rate, Auto Attendant, Do Not Disturb, Simultaneous Ring, Sequential Ring, Audible Message Indicator, Cancel Call Waiting, Call Forwarding Selective, Call Forwarding Variable, Caller ID Block, Caller ID Name and Number, Caller ID on Call Waiting, Call Screening, Call Trace, Call Waiting, Speed Dial 8, Speed Dial 30, Three-Way Calling, Visual Message Indicator and Voicemail.

Google Seeks Open Spectrum Sharing in White Space TV Broadcast Bands

Google filed comments with the FCC presenting its plans for mobile broadband services using the TV "white space," along with an enhanced spectrum protection proposal aimed at addressing concerns about the merits of using the white space for unlicensed personal/portable devices. Google is predicting that advanced spectrum sensing technologies enabled by low-cost processors in communications devices will pave the wave for a much more efficient use of spectrum. Beginning with the TV whitespaces, this spectrum sensing technology could be extended to other bands, and perhaps ultimately to all bands.

Some key elements of the Google plan include:

  • (1) Google envisions a network that combines elements of both fixed/access unlicensed devices and personal/portable unlicensed devices. This "hybrid" approach will join together the tangible benefits of mobility, low cost, and ease of installation and use.

  • (2) Coupled with the "Android" open source platform for mobile consumer devices, TV white spaces can provide uniquely low-cost mobile broadband coverage for all Americans. As announced last fall, over thirty other companies are working with Google through the Open Handset Alliance to develop a fully open source software stack, including the operating system, middleware, and user applications. Android-powered handsets should begin appearing commercially later this year, and would be an excellent match for the TV white space.

  • (3) In the 700 MHz auction proceeding, Google advocated for openness at various network layers.3 In the context of TV white space, consumers will be able to enjoy robust access to the Internet, including the ability to download and utilize any lawful applications or content that is desired.

  • (4) Google also would be willing to provide, at no cost to third parties, the technical support necessary to make these plans happen; this could include intellectual property and reference designs for underlying technologies, open geo-databases maintained by Google, and other supporting infrastructure.

As for Google's enhanced protection proposal, the company said a TV white space device should not transmit on a channel until it first has received an "all clear" signal for that channel, either directly from a database of licensed transmitters in that area, or from a geo-located device with access to that database. That "permission to transmit" signal (at a maximum power level of 4W EIRP) would be sent on channels the geo-located device already knows are clear of licensed users. Any device without geo-location and database access would not transmit at all, unless and until it has successfully received advance permission from such a device. Further, all TV white space devices would be blocked from transmitting by any wireless microphone beacon in that channel, using signals specifically designed to be easy to reliably detect, and coded to be identifiable to prevent abuse. These beacons should be quite inexpensive, and would be used in conjunction with existing wireless microphones, so there would be no need to replace legacy devices. Google is also proposing a "safe harbor" for wireless microphones in channels 36-38. No TV white space device would be permitted to transmit in these channels. This will also protect medical telemetry devices and radio astronomy services, which are licensed to use channel 37.

Airvana Lands Global OEM Deal with Motorola for CDMA Femtocell

Airvana announced a global OEM agreement to provide Motorola with a CDMA femtocell solution. Airvana said its CDMA femtocells uniquely support both 1xRTT and EV-DO technologies to ensure users have a consistent mobile experience for voice and data services whether they are connected through their femtocell or the macro network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Femtocells are small, low-cost and low-power cellular access points that connect to a consumer's existing broadband Internet service to deliver enhanced cellular radio coverage and high data speeds to mobile phones in the home.
  • In February 2008, Airvana announced that Thomson entered into a global sourcing agreement to use its Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) femtocell technology in conjunction with residential gateways.

U.S. DOJ Approves XM + Sirius Satellite Merger

The U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division gave its approval to the proposed merger of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio, saying it did not find a threat to competition. FCC approval is still pending.

In a statement, the DOJ said:

"The Division's investigation indicated that the parties are not likely to compete with respect to many segments of the satellite radio business even in the absence of the merger. Because customers must acquire equipment that is specialized to the satellite radio service to which they subscribe, and which cannot receive the other provider's signal, there has never been significant competition for customers who have already subscribed to one or the other service. For potential new subscribers, past competition has resulted in XM and Sirius entering long-term, sole-source contracts that provide incentives to all of the major auto manufacturers to install their radios in new vehicles. The car manufacturer channel accounts for a large and growing share of all satellite radio sales; yet, as a result of these contracts, there is not likely to be significant further competition between the parties for satellite radio equipment and service sold through this channel for many years. In the retail channel, where the parties likely would continue to compete to attract new subscribers absent the merger, the Division found that the evidence did not support defining a market limited to the two satellite radio firms that would exclude various alternative sources for audio entertainment, and similarly did not establish that the combined firm could profitably sustain an increased price to satellite radio consumers. Substantial cost savings likely to flow from the transaction also undermined any inference of competitive harm. Finally, the likely evolution of technology in the future, including the expected introduction in the next several years of mobile broadband Internet devices, made it even more unlikely that the transaction would harm consumers in the longer term.:

Hutchison Telecom Indonesia Selects NSN

PT Hutchison CP Telecommunications (‘HCPT' or Hutchison Telecom Indonesia) awarded a turnkey contract to Nokia Siemens Networks to strengthen its GSM/WCDMA network coverage in the islands of Java and Sumatra, and roll out GSM core networks in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. This contract supplements HCPT's first network contract with Siemens Indonesia in 2005.

The upgrade will include network planning and implementation of another 2,800 base stations, installation of mobile softswitches and Media Gateways. On the services front, Nokia Siemens Networks will also continue with its project management role and provide network management services. To ensure seamless network configuration, Nokia Siemens Networks is also appointed to install the core networks for HCPT in Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

AirWalk Introduces its CDMA Femtocell

AirWalk Communications, a start-up based in Richardson, Texas, introduced its "EdgePoint" CDMA femtocell

for home and small office use. By deploying the compact (7 by 7 by 2 inches) femtocells at customer sites, cellular carriers can reduce the customer churn typically associated with poor reception. At the consumer end, the unit plugs directly into a DSL or cable broadband connection. The femtocell is programmed for their existing handsets and laptop computers. Users can guarantee good reception -- including smooth handoff of calls originated on EdgePoint to the macro network, and can work with their carriers to secure service plans tailored to their needs.

The EdgePoint architecture combines a base station transceiver, base station controller, and network interfaces into a single unit, and can be configured for either 1xEV-DO Rev. A or 1xRTT. The unit has a range of about 250 feet (76 meters)

CommuniGate Launches UC Suite with HD Media on Adobe AIR

CommuniGate Systems, a start-up based in Mill Valley, California, announced the availability of Pronto! 2.0 unified communications platform featuring a lightweight client interface built with Adobe Flex 3, deployed in the browser with Adobe Flash Player and to the desktop with Adobe AIR.

CommuniGate's Pronto! 2.0 brings together email, voice, messaging, and groupware along with high definition multimedia entertainment applications. With Pronto! 2.0, users can chat with friends, send email, place a VoIP call, catch up on their favorite HDTV show, stream HD radio, etc. -- all from with-in the customizable Web browser interface.

Delivered to the browser through Adobe Flash Player, users can access all their communication and media services all from their home computer, business laptop, and even public computers at an Internet Café.

Additionally, Pronto! 2.0 utilizes the power of Adobe AIR, which enables web developers to extend rich Internet applications to the desktop. Users can open separate windows for Pronto! functions, including IM, calendars, email, and voice, to configure the desktop that works for them. Pronto! 2.0 supports drag-and-drop operations for a more familiar and natural way to save and add attachments from email.

Media capabilities include H.264 and AAC codecs supporting HD video n Adobe Flash Player 9 and AIR. Network operators could use Flash Media Interactive Servers along with CommuniGate Pro's server APIs and plugins to deliver licensed content from a variety of providers using the same browser suite.

Eni Deploys Italtel and Cisco for Global Communications Network

Eni, one of the world's leading companies in the energy sector, has deployed an integrated communication network linking over 100 sites using technology from Italtel and Cisco. The new Eni network, which is based on the Italtel i-SSW Softswitch multiservice platform, is described as one of the world's largest fully-converged enterprise networks in terms of size, performance and technologies used.

Italtel served as the supplier and system integrator of the softswitch platform used for the Eni network. Cisco Systems, Italtel's strategic partner, developed the VoIP services and the Unified Communication network. BT Italia served in the role of Project Management and System Integrator.

The Italtel i-SSW multi-service Softswitch platform is supporting a number of advanced applications on the Eni network, including Unified Communications, fixed/mobile convergence (FMC) services and support for dual mode terminals (WiFi and GSM/UMTS), and a VoIP 2.0 portal with click-to-dial capabilities.

In addition, Eni has already planned several stages for evolving its VoIP 2.0 network, including the installation, in order to reduce disaster recovery times, of a second Italtel i-SSW platform at the company HQ in Rome and the multi-carrier interconnection of the corporate VoIP network.

3Com Seeks Break-up Fee from Bain Capital

3Com will pursue a $66 million merger termination fee from Bain Capital Partners. In a press release, 3Com said it does not believe that Bain Capital Partners' attempt to terminate its merger agreement with 3Com is valid. Subsequently, 3Com's shareholders on Friday voted to approve the take-over from Bain, even though the deal was already off the table. This move is expected to help 3Com in its bid to secure the $66 million break-up fee.

In February, 3Com, along with affiliates of Bain Capital Partners and Huawei Technologies, withdrew their joint filing to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) concerning the parties' proposed merger transaction. The parties said they remain committed to continuing discussions.http://www.3com.com

Redback Announces 68 Joint Carrier Wins with Ericsson

Redback Networks a division of Ericsson, said that its IP-based broadband routers reached 68 joint carrier wins in 45 countries with Ericsson in 2007. Redback and Ericsson won joint deals with fixed and mobile carriers in North & South America, Europe, Middle East, Africa and greater Asia. Two of the joint deals are with top 20 fixed operators; three other wins are with top 10 mobile operators. Several of the joints wins are in fast-growing emerging markets.

Charter Closes on $500 Million in Loan Financing

Charter Communications, the third largest publicly traded cable operator in the U.S., has closed on $500 million principal amount of incremental term loans (the "Incremental Term Loans") under the Charter Operating credit facilities. The funds will be used for general corporate purposes.

HTC Shift Rides Sprint's CDMA-EVDO

HTC Corp. announced U.S. availability of its "Shift" device, a compact device that is half the size and a fraction of the weight of a standard notebook and uses Windows Vista and Microsoft Origami Experience 2.0. The HTC Shift operates over the Sprint Mobile Broadband Network. The company claims up to three days of battery life. It also features HTC's new "SnapVUE" technology, which provides instant access to emails, calendar, SMS messages and contacts, without the need to fully boot up the device. The touch-sensitive screen measures 7". It includes a 40 GB HDD, 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi connectivity and weighs 1.8 pounds. MSRP is $1,499.

Ceragon Announces Backhaul Contract with CellularONE of Arizona

Ceragon Networks announced a follow-on order from CellularONE of Arizona valued at over $1 million, as part of CellularONE's further expansion into the Navajo Nation. Ceragon's FibeAir solutions will be used to transport flexible data and voice services to CellularONE's new subscribers.

Ceragon's carrier class FibeAir product family provides backhaul for IP, SONET and PDH on a single platform. Phase III of CellularONE's network utilizes the 6,11 and 23 GHz frequency bands in 1+0, 1+1 (non-protected/protected), and space diversity configurations carrying up to 64 T1's, DS-3, OC3, and Dual Fast Ethernet, CellularONE will benefit from the ability of the FibeAir family to support errorless and hitless space diversity in both SONET and IP+TDM configurations.

City Telecom, M1 and StarHub to Submit Joint Bid for Singapore's NBN

Hong Kong's City Telecom (CTI) and Singapore's M1 and StarHub will form a consortium and jointly submit a bid to design, build and operate Singapore's next generation broadband network, as specified by Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore's Request-for-Proposal (RFP) for the Network Company (NetCo).

Next Gen NII comprises complementary wired and wireless networks to ensure Singaporeans enjoy seamless connectivity.

''Currently, CTI, through its wholly owned subsidiary, HKBN's end-to-end network in Hong Kong, supports the widest range of symmetric broadband services from 25Mbps up to 1Gbps, and has launched Hong Kong's first Fibre-to- the-Home residential broadband services. We welcome StarHub to join us in this project, as their experience and diversity complement the strengths of CTI and M1. We are confident that this will create sparkling synergy for the consortium,'' said Ricky Wong, Chairman of CTI.
  • In December 2007, the government of Singapore outlined its vision for an open access Next Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) offering pervasive ultra-high speed connectivity by 2015. The plan calls for a minimum speed of 100 Mbps in the downlink and 50 Mbps in the uplink per end-user connection and scalability to 1 Gbps and above. Singapore is also calling for a separation between network layer operations (the Layer 1 physical network), the bandwidth service operators (Layer 2 and Layer 3 connectivity), and the retail services that ride on top.

    The Next Gen NBN is expected to be available nationwide by 2015, although the first services, such as high-definition video conferencing, telemedicine, Grid Computing-on-Demand, security and immersive learning applications, should be running on the Next Gen NBN from about 2010.

    Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority is issuing a Request-For-Proposal (RFP) open to all interested parties to submit their bid to design, build and operate the passive infrastructure layer of the Next Gen NBN.

    Under this RFP, a Network Company, or NetCo, will be selected to design, build and operate this passive infrastructure that will carry the traffic for Next Generation Services. The deployment of active electronics such as switches and routers to manage the flow of traffic on the passive infrastructure will be done by what is called the Operating Company or OpCo, which will also be the entity that offers wholesale broadband access to downstream Retail Service Providers, or RSPs. The latter are the companies that provide Next Generation Services to end-users.