Monday, March 24, 2008

Nortel Lands 5-Year CDMA Contract with US Cellular

U.S. Cellular has awarded Nortel a five-year contract to provide advanced wireless capabilities for its CDMA network. Under this agreement, U.S. Cellular will purchase Nortel's CDMA switching, base stations, and software. It also includes emergency technical support, spares management, software patch management, performance monitoring and other services from Nortel's Global Services portfolio. The deal builds on Nortel and U.S. Cellular's long-standing relationship for supplying CDMA solutions. Financial terms were not disclosed.

India's BSNL Awards $100 Million GSM Expansion Contract to Nortel

India's BSNL (Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd.) awarded a GSM expansion

contract valued at over US$100 million to Nortel. BSNL, which currently serves 20 million cellular subscribers, is actively growing its network reach and capacity to meet increased demand for mobile telephony services across the country. This project focuses on southern areas of the country. Deployment is underway and completion is expected in 2008.

Indonesia's PT Telkom Selects Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS for DRS

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (PT Telkom), the incumbent fixed telephone service provider in Indonesia, has chosen Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS platform to deploy a national Data Recovery Service (DRS) network connecting ten cities across the country. PT Telkom is migrating the connectivity of its data centers to IP/MPLS to facilitate administrative operations such as centralized billing. The deployment includes the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 and 7710 Service Routers and the 7450 Ethernet Service Switch.

France Telecom Announces Executive Appointments

France Telecom announce the following executive changes :

  • Raoul Roverato is appointed Executive Vice-President in charge of the new growth businesses Division. This ‘new growth businesses' Division comprises the Content and Audience & On-line Advertising Divisions and is responsible for coordinating all of the Group's current or future growth initiatives.

  • Patricia Langrand, in addition to her current position, is appointed Special Advisor to the Chairman and CEO for relations with media and content players.

  • The International Business Development Division, led by Anne Bouverot, reports to the Executive Senior Vice-President, Group Genral Secretary, Jean-Yves Larrouturou.

  • The Division in charge of operations in Africa, Middle-East and Asia (AMEA) led by Marc Rennard reports to the Executive Senior Vice-President, Group Genral Secretary, Jean-Yves Larrouturou.

  • The Home Line of Business, led by Antonio Anguita reports to the Executive Senior Vice-President in charge of Group Transformation and Operations in France, Louis-Pierre Wenes.

Juniper Extends Steel-Belted Radius Platform with WiMAX Support

Juniper Networks enhanced its Service Provider Steel-Belted Radius (SBR) Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) Server with support for WiMAX broadband wireless networks with Support for mobile WiMAX is expected to be generally available as a separate software module for SBR Carrier AAA server in Q3 2008.

Juniper said mobile WiMAX places extraordinary demands on Authentication, Authorization and Accounting (AAA) systems, which need to support multiple Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) methods; manage mobile IP sessions; and facilitate roaming. Its SBR Carrier AAA solution will address these challenges by supporting the methods required by the WiMAX standard for authenticating users and devices (EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS and EAP-AKA), as well as legacy technologies such as EAP-SIM for backward compatibility -- on a single, unified platform. With its mobile IP key derivation and management functionality, the SBR Carrier AAA Server will also have the intelligence to set up mobile IP sessions; manage mobile sessions throughout their lifetimes; and support roaming in both home and visited networks.

Juniper noted that more than 120 service providers worldwide are using its SBR.

Ethernet Alliance Announces Creation of IEEE P802.3at/Draft 3.0

A new IEEE P802.3at/Draft 3.0 addressing Power of Ethernet (PoE) Plus has been submitted it to the IEEE 802.3 working group ballot for technical review of the draft standard. PoE Plus is designed to provide up to 30W of power using Category 5 cables. Standard ratification is expected by 2009.

The additional power is seen as key for several advanced applications over converged networks, such as the use of high-end, pan-tilt-zoom video cameras.

"PoE Plus brings value to Ethernet by enabling key video services such as perimeter security, video conferencing and video-based IP phones for video collaborations," said Val Oliva, president, Ethernet Alliance. "The Ethernet Alliance is proud to support the IEEE P802.3at task force in its process of creating and ratifying the IEEE P802.3at draft standard."

Wisair Introduces SDIO Wireless USB solution

Wisair introduced a new SDIO Wireless USB solution for portable and handheld electronic devices. The design, which is based on the Wisair WSR601 low-power single chip, enables vendors to embed Wireless USB into portable devices, such as digital still cameras, camcorders and smart phones, using the Secure Digital Input/Output (SDIO) interface.

The Wisair WSR601 single chip has received regulatory approvals in Japan, the U.S., and Europe, and was recently certified by the USB-IF.

Aktino Names Lonnie Martin as New CEO

Aktino, which offers carrier-class long reach broadband over copper solutions, named Lonnie Martin as its new CEO. Martin most recently was CEO of White Rock Networks, an optical equipment company that he founded in 1999 and guided until 2006, when it was sold to Turin Networks.

Martin has also served as president and CEO of two other venture capital-backed companies (Broadband Telesystems, and Coastcom) and a top executive at two large multinational companies, ADC Telecommunications and Ascom/Timeplex.

Aktino has developed VDSL2-based MIMO (Multiple In, Multiple Out) on DMT (Discrete Multi-Tone) technology, which virtually eliminates crosstalk between copper pairs and allows multimegabit capacity on each copper pair, all the way to the edge of the carrier serving area.

Aktino, founded in 2003, is based in Irvine, California.

Motorola Joins LTE/SAE Trial Initiative

Motorola has joined the LTE/System Architecture Evolution (SAE) Trial Initiative (LSTI), and industry group driving the acceleration of commercial and interoperable next-generation LTE mobile broadband systems.

Motorola has been a major contributor to the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long-Term Evolution (LTE) standard.

Motorola said that it is leveraging its experience in 802.16e commercial systems by reusing a significant amount of its WiMAX research and development, coupled with its rich heritage in cellular networking, Motorola chipsets, network and video head-end solutions, and professional services to deliver its end-to-end LTE solution.

Motorola is among the vendors selected by Verizon Wireless and Vodafone to participate in their joint LTE trials during 2008. Motorola also is planning a number of other field trials during 2008.
  • In May 2007, a group of world 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.

Motorola Expands OFDM-based Access Points

Motorola has expanded its Canopy wireless broadband system with the introduction of the 400 series of access points and subscriber modules in the 5.4 GHz spectrum. The Canopy 400 series uses Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technology to provide improved near-line of sight (nLOS) and non-line of sight (NLOS) coverage, allowing service providers and enterprise network owners to extend broadband network coverage into urban areas where obstructions and foliage have limited system expansion. The modules offer higher throughputs, up to 21Mbps, and extended range, accompanied with GPS synchronization to mitigate self interference. The Canopy 400 series modules, part of the MOTOwi4 Fixed Point-to-Multipoint portfolio, are now available in Europe, Middle East and Africa and soon in Latin America. North America availability is pending final FCC certification.

Motorola said that by leveraging OFDM technology in the access and backhaul layers, the Canopy 400 series significantly enhances overall network performance and reach enabling such applications as high speed data transfer, video surveillance, VoIP, and gaming to subscribers who were not previously reachable.

FPL FiberNet Deploys Alcatel-Lucent for IP/MPLS

FPL FiberNet, a subsidiary of Florida Power & Light which delivers wholesale bandwidth services throughout most major metropolitan areas in Florida, has deployed Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS solution. the packet-based network is being used to deliver Ethernet and IP services. FPL FiberNet currently serves telecommunication companies, wireless carriers, Internet service providers, and enterprise and government customers in Florida through a geographically diverse and protected fiber-optic network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deployment includes the Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router, Alcatel-Lucent 7450 Ethernet Service Switch, Alcatel-Lucent 7250 Service Access Switch and Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager. In addition, FPL FiberNet's Metro Ethernet services are based on Alcatel-Lucent's optical networking solution, including the Alcatel-Lucent 1665 DMX and 1665 DMXtend, next-generation multiplexers designed for high-capacity voice, data and video transport, as well as its 1675 LambdaUnite MultiService Switch. Alcatel-Lucent also is providing installation, deployment, consulting, network integration and professional services.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

NTT Comm and AT&T Join Trans Pacific Express Cable Project

NTT Communications and AT&T have joined the Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) Consortium, which is building next-generation, high- capacity undersea system to link the United States with mainland China, Taiwan and South Korea. Other members of the TPE Consortium include Verizon Business, China Telecom, China Netcom, China Unicom, Korea Telecom and Chunghwa Telecom (Taiwan)
  • Earlier this month, Verizon Business announced that the U.S.-mainland China portion of the Trans-Pacific Express (TPE) submarine cable will enter service in July, a month in advance of the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

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.