Sunday, April 13, 2008

Vendors Set LTE Licensing Deal

Top network equipment suppliers reached agreement for licensing intellectual property rights (IPR) that relate to 3GPP Long Term Evolution and Service Architecture Evolution standards (LTE/SAE). The parties include Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, NEC, NextWave Wireless, Nokia, Nokia Siemens Networks and Sony Ericsson.

The framework is based on the prevalent industry principle of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing terms for essential patents. This means that the companies agree, subject to reciprocity, to reasonable, maximum aggregate royalty rates based on the value added by the technology in the end product and to flexible licensing arrangements according to the licensors' proportional share of all standard essential IPR for the relevant product category.

Specifically, the companies support that a reasonable maximum aggregate royalty level for LTE essential IPR in handsets is a single-digit percentage of the sales price. For notebooks, with embedded LTE capabilities, the companies support a single-digit dollar amount as the maximum aggregate royalty level. The parties believe the market will drive the LTE licensing regime to be in accordance with these principles and aggregate royalty levels.

The companies said their framework balances the prevailing business conditions relevant for the successful widespread adoption of the LTE standard, which continues its progress toward definitive adoption by the industry in the applicable standards forums and organizations.
  • 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. Other vendors have subsequently joined the initiative.

Tata Communications Establishes MPLS Interconnect with Telecom Egypt

Tata Communications
has expanded its Global VPN service to Egypt through a partnership agreement with TE Data, a subsidiary of Telecom Egypt . Specifically, the carriers have interconnected their respective MPLS infrastructures, setting up multiple, redundant network-to-network interconnection (NNI) points between the two companies connecting Tata's European and Indian network hubs with TE Data's facilities in Egypt.

The NNI agreement allows Tata Communications to seamlessly extend its current end-to-end service capabilities by incorporating the TE Data's IP MPLS network footprint in Egypt, using more than 800 access points-of-presence.

Tata currently offers its MPLS services in almost 40 countries and expects to reach over 50 by the end of 2008. It is also increasing the resiliency and depth of its international network with new dual PoPs in four countries and new PoPs in 8 cities within its existing country footprint.

MPLS-Inter-Carrier Interconnect (ICI) Spec Released

The IP/MPLS Forum has approved a new MPLS Inter-Carrier Interconnect (MPLS-ICI) specification that defines how carriers can link their networks on a global basis for the delivery of MPLS services. The specification includes methods for the establishment of Label Switched Paths (LSPs); signaling and routing protocols; resiliency; traffic management and QoS; Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM); as well as packet forwarding and security requirements.

Specifically, the MPLS-ICI Technical Specification addresses four common IP/MPLS services: inter-carrier IP VPN services, labeled IPv4 routes, pseudowires or PWE3 (Layer 1 and Layer 2 emulated services over an IP/MPLS network) and traffic engineered trunks. Each of these has unique requirements. The Technical Specification covers issues common to all these uses as well as addresses attributes that are specific to each of the services.

The IP/MPLS Forum said that as enterprise customers have increasingly sought end-end service delivery of VoIP, VPNs and other Layer 2 and Layer 3 services across multiple service provider networks, the carriers only historical means to deliver this has been via bilateral agreements which are limited to basic IP interconnect or the transport of native Layer 2 services over ATM or Frame Relay NNI connections. The MPLS-ICI changes all of that by supporting a rich array of service interconnections using MPLS which can carry a variety of Layer 1, 2 and 3 services.

"The MPLS-ICI provides a standards-based definition for carrier interconnect that allows services to be transported over MPLS from one provider edge to the other provider edge in a secure, consistent and transparent manner," said Nabil Bitar, Editor of the MPLS-ICI specification and Director, Packet Network Architecture at Verizon Communications. "In addition, because MPLS is a multi-service transport technology, an MPLS-ICI eliminates the need to have multiple interconnect technologies at the carrier connection points, enabling carriers to simplify network, reduce OPEX and CAPEX, and improve ROI. These are the same factors that initially motivated carriers to deploy MPLS for their converged packet backbone networks."

Vendors Show SFP+ Optical Interface Interoperability

The Ethernet Alliance conducted a multi-vendor interoperability test of Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP+) short-reach (10GBASE-SR) and long-reach (10GBASE-LR) optical interfaces.

The testing was recently held at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) by the Ethernet Alliance SFP+/EDC subcommittee and included AMCC, Avago Technologies, Broadcom, ClariPhy, Cortina Systems, ExceLight Communications, Finisar, Gennum, Inphi, Intel, JDSU, MergeOptics, NetLogic Microsystems, Opnext and Vitesse.

The test demonstrated multiple SFP+ SR and LR optical transceivers and physical layer (PHY) ICs interoperating over 270 meters of OM3 multimode fiber and 10 km of single-mode fiber. In addition, the group demonstrated multiple SFP+ SR and LR optical transceivers and PHY ICs interoperating with XENPAK, X2, and XFP optical transceivers over the same distances.

SFP+ modules are hot-pluggable, small-footprint optical transceivers intended for datacom applications. SFP+ interfaces offer the smallest, lowest-power solution for 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) to enable increased density in enterprise applications.

SFP+ modules and PHY ICs are being developed for SR, LR, LRM (long-wavelength multimode) and ER (extra-long-wavelength) optical reaches per IEEE Std. 802.3ae-2002 and IEEE Std. 802.3aq-2006. Electrical and mechanical interface specifications for SFP+ modules, direct attach cables, and hosts are under definition by the SFF Committee, a multi-source agreement group with broad industry participation.

"We expect the move to smaller SFP+ modules will help increase the port density and reduce the cost of 10 Gigabit Ethernet line cards," said Jag Bolaria, senior analyst, Linley Group. "Demonstrating interoperability between 10GBASE-SR and 10GBASE-LR SFP+ modules with existing XENPAK, X2 and XFP modules showcases the readiness for deployment of SFP+ modules."

Nokia Siemens Networks Signs Gateway Deal with GENBAND

GENBAND announced a five-year OEM agreement under which Nokia Siemens Networks will be the preferred supplier of trunking media gateways for their global fixed network market. The companies have also reached a definitive agreement for GENBAND to acquire Nokia Siemens Networks' SURPASS hiG fixed line trunking media gateway product line. Nokia Siemens Networks will continue with its fixed core networks solution portfolio and provide service and support to its current installed base and future customers.

GENBAND said the deal strengthens its position in the fixed network gateway market and expands its international reach, especially in the APAC and CALA regions. GENBAND will also attain a team in Brazil, focused on hiG research and development, program- and product management.http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

ICO Successfully Launches G1 Satellite for Mobile TV

ICO Global Communications announced the successful launch of its North American geosynchronous satellite, ICO G1, on board an Atlas V 421 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida. ICO G1, which was constructed by Space Systems/Loral using the Loral 1300 platform, has a total mass of 6634kg, making it the largest satellite ever launched by an Atlas rocket, and is the largest commercial satellite ever launched.

ICO is planning to offer a converged mobile media service called "mim" that addresses a wide variety of consumers' entertainment, information, and two-way communication needs: live and stored mobile TV in vehicles, interactive navigation, and roadside assistance, all with nationwide coverage. ICO mim will provide multiple channels of high-quality mobile video to portable, larger-screen (4.5 to 10 inch) user devices.

The ICO G1 satellite will operate in the 2 GHz S-band and will provide coverage to the United States and most of North America. It S-band antenna has an aperture of 12 meters and was built by Harris Corporation. ICO G1 also pioneers the use of a ground-based beam forming (GBBF) system for both satellite-receive and satellite-transmit directions. The company expects that GBBF will provide unprecedented flexibility in operation for the spacecraft to form S-band antenna beams, flexibility in assigning frequencies and power, and will accommodate any modulation protocol within ICO's licensed spectrum. GBBF can form up to 250 transmit and 250 receive independent S-band beams.

ICO will be conducting alpha trials for its fully interactive mobile video, navigation and emergency assistance service to be known as ICO mim (mobile interactive media) later this year. The mobile television component of ICO mim will use the DVB-SH standard, and is the first deployment of DVB-SH in the United States.

"With our launch of ICO G1, ICO is now poised to deliver a new generation of mobile services for consumers," commented Tim Bryan, chief executive officer of ICO. "We look forward to meeting our 12th and final FCC milestone by May 15, 2008, when we anticipate certifying that ICO G1 is operational. Later this summer we will commence market trials in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Raleigh Durham area of North Carolina for our mobile interactive media service, ICO mim, which we expect to launch commercially later in 2009."

Network Evolution -- Qwest Communications

1. Impact of
Video Traffic
-- Will an exa-flood of video traffic
swamp the Internet?

Migration to 40 - 100 Gbps
-- When will the transition
from 10 Gps to 40 Gbps occur? 100 Gbps?

3. Carrier
-- What is driving the market for Carrier

4. PBT
-- Will PBT or PBB-TE gain traction versus IP/MPLS?

Future Net Technologies -- Looking ahead, which
networking technologies show greatest promise for your

Poll, Chief Technology Officer, Qwest

Spring VON.x, San Jose, California

Tiscali Int. Net Deploys Juniper T1600 Core Router

Tiscali International Network (TINet), the wholesale carrier division of the Tiscali Group, is deploying the Juniper Networks T1600 multi-terabit core router. TINet exclusively focuses on serving wholesale customers with high capacity IPv4 and IPv6 Transit, Layer 2 MPLS services for IPTV and data transport and with its global Ethernet private lines service. The 1600s will be installed in several Points of Presence throughout Europe and America to accommodate fast traffic growth and to support 40 Gbps technologies. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Juniper's T1600 core router features 1.6 Tbps of throughput in a single half-rack chassis. All JUNOS routing features are supported on the T1600, including point-to-multipoint (P2MP) MPLS that delivers efficient core video distribution. The T-series routers also include optical network integration via10GE optical interfaces and 40 Gbps interface cards

RAD Enhances Demarc Device for Carrier Ethernet Access and WiMAX/LTE Backhaul

RAD Data Communications introduced its ETX-A series of intelligent demarcation units designed to support managed Carrier Ethernet services and WiMAX/LTE backhaul traffic. The first product in the series, the ETX-202A, provides key functions at customer premises, multi-tenant units (MTUs), remote cell sites, and aggregating hubs. Specifically, it offers bandwidth control mechanisms to classify, police, schedule, and shape high-priority traffic to ensure that it is not delayed or discarded even when the link is congested. At MTUs or WiMAX/LTE hub sites, the ETX-202A aggregates traffic from multiple customers or cell sites and ensures fair distribution of bandwidth in accordance with the carrier's policies. Intelligent traffic engineering, including a WRED policy, ensures that queues are not congested and high priority traffic is not dropped, even when links are oversubscribed.

RAD's ETX-202A builds on the company's exiting line of Ethernet private line (EPL) port-based ETX Metro Ethernet demarcation products, adding support for Ethernet virtual private line (EVPL) and flow-based services with flexible mapping of the user traffic into Ethernet flows. It is a carrier class solution with redundant power supply and environmentally hardened options.

In addition, the ETX-202A features end-to-end Operation, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) based on IEEE 802.1ag and ITU T Y.1731, enabling mobile operators and Ethernet service providers to monitor their services proactively, measure end-to-end performance and ensure they receive the contracted Service Level Agreement (SLA). Fault monitoring and performance measurement include frame delay, frame delay variation, frame loss, and availability.

RAD also noted that its ETX-202A can test end-to-end Layer-2 link integrity with the help of wire-speed MAC swap loopbacks, so that the ETX exchanges source and destination MAC addresses of the incoming packets. This loopback can be performed per port, per VLAN or per flow. It passes through Ethernet bridges and does not disrupt traffic flows, which are not being tested.

RAD's ETX-202A is MEF-9 and MEF-14 EPL and EVPL certified.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

SingTel Offers Global VPN Performance Monitoring

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has launched a Global Delivery Platform (GDP) that provides full end-to-end network performance monitoring for corporate VPNs across multiple partners' networks.

SingTel's GDP delivers network performance assurances and faster fault restoration, as well as real-time network performance statistics via an online portal. SingTel said it is able to provide end-to-end network visibility into many Asian, European and US cities by leveraging its ConnectPlus IP VPN network's interconnections with more than 15 leading IP VPN service providers around the globe.

"Most service providers today deploy IP nodes only in a few ‘gateway cities' in a country and do not provide network visibility beyond these locations. SingTel GDP provides in-depth access like never before with coverage that includes lesser known cities. This is extremely useful for customers that have businesses in multiple cities within a large country," Bill Chang, said SingTel's Executive Vice President of Business.

Foundry Issues Preliminary Results, Cites Macroeconomics

Foundry Networks announced preliminary results for Q1 2008, saying it now expects revenue to range between $148.0 million and $150.0 million, compared to $135.8 million in the first quarter of 2007. GAAP net income is expected to range between $13.0 million and $14.0 million, or $0.08 and $0.09 per diluted share including approximately $8.5 million of tax-effected stock-based compensation, compared to $9.1 million or $0.06 per diluted share in the first quarter 2007, including $5.8 million of tax-effected stock-based compensation.

"Entering the quarter we expressed our view that Foundry would experience typical seasonality, however during the first quarter a more challenging macroeconomic environment evolved from the financial market crises which we believe led some customers to delay their purchase decisions," said Bobby Johnson, President and CEO of Foundry Networks. "While business activity remained robust, order closure rates in most geographies fell below our expectations. We believe the recent investments we've made in our sales organization have strengthened our capabilities and together with our strong product portfolio will have a potentially positive impact particularly as the macroeconomic environment becomes more settled."

Macau's CTM Selects Nortel Microsoft Alliance

Companhia de TelecomuniĆ§Ć£es de Macau (CTM), the only full telecom service provider in Macau (China), is offering a unified communications solution from the Nortel Microsoft Innovative Communications Alliance. The solution provides business customers with integrated voice, email, conferencing, video, and instant messaging .

The Nortel Microsoft unified communications solution implemented by CTM combines Nortel Communication Server 1000 (CS 1000) and Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 to provide one-click access to a broad range of collaboration capabilities

Since the formation of the alliance in July 2006, the companies said they have accumulated more than 600 wins for the unified communications solution.

Nortel Introduces SIP-centric Unified Communications for SMBs

Nortel is introducing a SIP-centric unified communications solution for small and medium businesses (SMBs) based on open source technology and complete with presence/instant messaging, IP telephony, conferencing, and other advanced applications.

The Nortel Software Communication System (SCS) 500, which targets SMBs with 30 to 500+ employees, is a software-based solution available on industry-leading hardware systems through Nortel's collaborations with IBM and Dell. These include the Dell OptiPlex 755 and later the PowerEdge R300 server, along with the IBM System i platform. Going forward, Nortel said it plans to integrate SCS500 with more of IBM's SMB server portfolio, including Power Systems, System x, and Blades.

Nortel's SCS500 was developed within the SIPfoundry project, sipXecs, and represents more than 250 contributions from Nortel leveraging its expertise in telephony, data and multimedia applications.

Huawei Signs 14 HSPA/WCDMA Contracts in Q1

Huawei Technologies announced that it won 14 HSPA/WCDMA contracts in Q1 2008, and its total number of HSPA/WCDMA contracts has exceeded 100 to date. In Q1 2008, Huawei won a number of large HSPA/WCDMA deals with carriers in Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific and its GSM unit shipments increased by 20%.

Etisalat Selects Huawei for FTTH in UAE

Etisalat has selected Huawei Technologies

to build a large-scale commercial Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network using GPON in the United Arab Emirates. Huawei will supply its optical line terminal (OLT) and optical network terminals (ONT). By the end of 2008, Etisalat expects its customer base with direct access to FTTH to be in the hundreds of thousands. Financial terms were not disclosed.

SES AMERICOM Declares AMC-14 a Total Loss

SES declared its new AMC-14 a total loss for insurance purposes. The company said that while an initial assessment of the available options to reposition the satellite appeared encouraging, more detailed examinations by SES and Lockheed Martin engineers determined that the various scenarios could not provide a reasonable chance of success. While AMC-14 is currently in a stable orbit, SES is exploring plans to retire the satellite.

"The loss of any satellite is a disappointment, and the failure of AMC-14 means there will be no revenues to come from this programme. However, SES is fully insured for its investment, and there will be no negative P&L impact from the accelerated write-down of AMC-14. We expect to receive the insurance proceeds of approximately USD 150 million in the next few months, thereby enhancing our cash position. The rest of our business in North America and worldwide has no connection with, and is unaffected by, this launch failure," commented Mark Rigolle, Chief Financial Officer of SES.
  • On March 15, SES AMERICOM's AMC-14 satellite failed to reach its intended orbit following its launch on board a Russian Proton Breeze-M launch vehicle on March 15. An anomaly during the second burn of the fourth stage of the rocket resulted in the satellite being placed short of the planned geostationary transfer orbit. The spacecraft is entirely contracted by EchoStar.

TPACK Enhances PBB-TE/T-MPLS/VPLS Carrier Packet Engine

TPACK introduced an upgraded version of its PBB-TE/T-MPLS/VPLS Carrier Packet Engine, which is a commercial chip solution based on an Altera Stratix III FPGA, designed for Carrier Ethernet gateway devices. The TPX3103 device can provide a maximum non-blocking, full duplex switching capacity of 52 Gbps, allowing a maximum of 48x 1 Gigabit or 4x 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports. TPACK said the advantage of its chip is that it allows rapid updates in response to changes in PBB-TE, T-MPLS and VPLS standards, which are likely to occur over the coming years.

TPACK's TPX3103 device provides support for PBB-TE and T-MPLS OAM, allowing protection switching times well within the 50msec carrier grade specification. In addition, the TPX3103 provides extended security control with Access Control Lists, more RMON monitoring capabilities and enhanced ingress flow control mechanisms making the TPX3103 suitable for application in a number of platforms including Carrier Ethernet Switches, MSPPs and Packet Optical Transport Platforms.

Australia Issues National Broadband Network RFP

The government of Australia issued an invitation for proposals to build a National Broadband Network. The announcement was made by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Stephen Conroy.

The RFP details the scope of the National Broadband Network, which will:

  • deliver minimum download speeds of 12 Mbps to 98% of Australian homes and businesses;

  • have the network rolled out and made operational progressively over five years using fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-premises technology;

  • support high quality voice, data and video services including symmetric applications such as high-definition video-conferencing;
  • earn the Commonwealth a return on its investment;

  • facilitate competition in the telecommunications sector through open access arrangements that allow all service providers access to the network on equivalent terms; and

  • enable uniform and affordable retail prices to consumers, no matter where they live.

The RFP documentation is available on the AusTender website. Proposals must be received by 25-July-2008.

The government said it is prepared to invest up to $4.7 billion in the project.

Industry and public interest groups are also being encouraged to provide submissions on regulatory issues associated with the National Broadband Network.

Pingdom: Map of Google Data Centers Worldwide

Pingdom, which tracks the performance of websites and servers, published a map of what it believes are Google's primary data centers worldwide. Google does not publicly disclose the location of its facilities. According to Pingdom, Google has 19 locations in the US where they operate data centers, 12 in Europe, one in Russia, one in South America, and three in Asia.

U.S. Court of Appeals Denies EchoStar's Petition for Rehearing

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, D.C. denied EchoStar's request for a rehearing en banc in its patent dispute with TiVo.

TiVo expressed its satisfaction with the decision saying it hoped the decision brings a resolution to the case, along with full award of damages and an order for the injunction to be reinstated.