Sunday, May 4, 2008

Riverbed Enhances Central Management Console

Riverbed Technology released the latest version of its Central Management Console (v5.0)

featuring enhancements for deploying, configuring, and managing its Steelhead appliances, while providing visibility into the underlying performance of applications running across the WAN. Specifically, the enhancements provide network administrators with hierarchical structuring of Steelhead appliances, new policy-based configuration, role-based administration and centralized security management.

Among the changes in the new release, the configuration of Steelheads is now based on discrete policies that can be assigned among Steelhead appliance groups and imported from existing Steelhead appliances. Policies can be defined separately for optimization, networking, security, and system configuration elements. To simplify the management of large Steelhead deployments, network managers can categorize and centrally manage Steelhead appliances using a hierarchical structure.

SingTel and Partners to Bid on Next Gen Broadband Net

Axia NetMedia (30%), Singapore Telecommunications (30%), Singapore Press Holdings (25%) and SP Telecommunications Pte Ltd (15%) have formed a consortium to jointly bid on Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network - Network Company (NetCo), as defined by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

The new OpenNet consortium, as it is known, proposes an open fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The open nature of the network is defined as follows:

(i) No individual parties having control over OpenNet

(ii) Three of the four OpenNet owners are not integrated telecommunications players hence there are no conflicting interests

(iii) the Network is specifically designed to enable choice by OpenNet customers, large and small

(iv) Interests are aligned as OpenNet's commercial success depends on its customers' success.

In the proposal, OpenNet said it will leverage SingTel's existing extensive high-quality, subterranean ducting network, making the infrastructure less vulnerable to damage. OpenNet also promises to deliver the FTTH network at least two and a half years ahead of schedule of the iN2015 vision. OpenNet is positioned to complete the network rollout by June 2010.
  • In March 2008, 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).

  • 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.

Indonesia's Telkomsel Selects Nokia Siemens Networks for Core Mobile Softswitch

Indonesia's Telkomsel will upgrade its mobile core to Release 4 architecture with

Nokia Siemens Networks' MSC Server System mobile softswitch solution. Under the three-year frame work agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy the latest generation softswitch in across Indonesia. NSN will also provide network planning, implementation as well as consulting and system integration. The company describes the project as one of the biggest softswitch network modernizations in Asia Pacific. Financial terms were not disclosed.

There are currently 190 Nokia Siemens Networks customers using mobile softswitching in over 110 live networks.

Libya Telecom Selects Alcatel-Lucent for WiMAX

Libya Telecom and Technology, the national Internet Service Provider in Libya,

selected Alcatel-Lucent to deploy the first commercial WIMAX network based on the 802.16e-2005 standard in the country. Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will provide a complete WiMAX infrastructure solution, including the radio access network, microwave backhaul and IP routers and will deploy around 120 sites in a first phase. The new network will support VoIP and high-speed Internet access. LTT plans to launch the commercial service on the network in September 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Motorola Enhances CherryPicker for MPEG2/4 Ad Insertion

Motorola released the latest software enhancement for its CherryPicker Application Platform (CAP-1000). In addition to MPEG-4 Rate Shaping, the CAP-1000 now offers MPEG-2 rate shaping, ad insertion and statistical multiplexing. The platform supports both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD) video, all in a dense single rack unit device. The Motorola CAP-1000 v2.0 supports hundreds of simultaneous video streams, with near instantaneous failover redundancy capability.

Ruckus Wireless Sues NETGEAR and Rayspan over Wi-Fi Antennas

Ruckus Wireless, has filed suit in the U.S. Court for the Northern District of California against NETGEAR and Rayspan Corporation for patent infringement. Ruckus Wireless alleges that in the development of the NETGEAR RangeMax WPN 824v3 wireless router, NETGEAR and Rayspan infringed two Wi-Fi patents which are fundamental to intelligent and adaptable Wi-Fi antenna arrays. Ruckus said it has over 70 patents granted or pending worldwide in the area of intelligent antenna or wireless technology innovation.

Ruckus also noted that in January 2005 it entered into a technology licensing agreement to develop the underlying technology within the NETGEAR RangeMax 824v1 and v2 wireless routers, the predecessors to the RangeMax 824v3 at issue. The resulting hardware and software technology developed for NETGEAR was owned and patented by Ruckus Wireless.

Concord Hospital Deploys Juniper Application Acceleration and Security Platforms

Concord Hospital, a regional medical center with the second busiest acute care hospital in the state of New Hampshire, has deployed Juniper Networks' WX application acceleration platform, Secure Services Gateway (SSG) firewall/VPN appliances with Unified Threat Management (UTM) and Secure Access (SA) 4000 SSL VPN to increase the performance of business-critical applications by 40 to 50%. The network also ensures
secure wireless VoIP communications in its emergency department, and provides secure remote network access for employees using a standard Web browser.

Juniper's WX platform employs application acceleration techniques that recognize and eliminate redundant transmissions, speed application-specific protocols, prioritize and allocate bandwidth, and accelerate SSL-encrypted applications. Additionally, Concord Hospital implemented Juniper's WX Central Management System (WX-CMS) to gain real-time network and application visibility and proactively manage the network.

Sun Offers OpenSolaris over Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud

Sun Microsystems will begin offering its OpenSolaris Operating System (OS) on the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), a Web service that provides resizeable compute capacity in the cloud. Amazon's EC2 allows customers to pay only for the infrastructure software services and capacity that they actually use.

Sun will also provide premium technical support for its MySQL database running on Linux and Amazon EC2.

The companies said a select group of leading software vendors are already offering their solutions via Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) for OpenSolaris on Amazon EC2, including GigaSpaces, Rightscale, Thoughtworks and Zmanda. Sun is also making available its "GlassFish" application server. OpenSolaris on Amazon EC2 is available for no additional charge. Customers pay only for Amazon EC2 usage, which starts at $0.10 per CPU-hour.

iamba Networks Secures $7 Million for GPON Silicon

iamba Networks, a start-up based in Cupertino, California with R&D in Israel, raised $7 million in new venture funding for its GPON silicon. iamba's product portfolio consists of multicore SoCs for GPON ONT units and OLT blades. Investing firms in this round include iamba's investors from previous rounds, Pitango Venture Capital, Cedar Fund, Giza Venture Fund and Kreos Capital.
  • In January 2008, iamba Networks released its new iSN1000 family of GPON ONT ASICs. The iSN1000 family includes three SoCs for three types of ONTs: the iSN1000F for Single Family Units (SFU), the iSN1000T for small office, home offices (SOHO), and the iSN1000D for Multi Dwelling Units (MDU). Iamba said its new silicon delivers 1 Gbps wire speed throughput, WT-156 compliant VLAN processing, QoS, security, IPTV support and a multi-core architecture that facilitates the integration of customer developed software with iamba's own powerful software packages. The iSN1000 family of ASICs is part of the iamba GPON Eco-System (iGES) solution comprised of next generation ASICs for ONTs and for the OLT, a comprehensive set of software packages, evaluation units and production-ready reference designs.

T-Mobile Launches UMTS/HSDPA in NYC

T-Mobile USA has launched its UMTS/HSDPA network in New York City. The 3G network rollout will continue across major metropolitan markets through the year. By year's end, T-Mobile expects its high-speed data network will be available in those cities where a majority of its subscribers currently use data services.

T-Mobile currently offers multiple phones that are able to operate on the UMTS network. In the coming months, T-Mobile plans to offer its first HSDPA device, along with new data-centric, all-in-one devices that help make the most of T-Mobile's high-speed data network.

T-Mobile also confirmed its intention to build upon its HotSpot Wi-Fi network.

Qwest to Offer Verizon Wireless Service

Qwest Communications announced a 5-year agreement to market and sell Verizon Wireless service beginning this summer. Financial terms of the agreement are not being disclosed. Under the deal, Qwest customers will have access to the full line of Verizon Wireless handsets, smartphones and BlackBerry devices, as well as high-speed broadband wireless services for e-mail, Internet access and multimedia services.

Qwest said its residential customers will be able to choose "wireless only" and be billed directly by Verizon Wireless, or include Verizon Wireless service as part of a Qwest bundle with their home phone, Internet and video services, and receive one bill from Qwest for all services. Qwest residential customers will be able to buy Verizon Wireless products and services via Qwest's call centers, Qwest's retail stores and kiosks, and online at Once billing systems are coordinated, residential customers will be able to elect to have their Verizon Wireless service charges included on their Qwest bill. Qwest customers will receive information in the near future about the Verizon Wireless products and services that will soon be available to them.

In addition, the companies will work together on bidding for enterprise and government wireless contracts, and collaborate in the development of converged services, such as a unified voicemail box for mobile and landline as well as integration of Qwest's IP networking solutions with Verizon Wireless' mobile data network for business and government customers.http://www.qwest.com

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Cisco co-founder Len Bosack Develops Optical System

XKL, a start-up led by Cisco Systems' co-founder Len Bosack, has supplied an optical transport system to the University of Washington in Seattle. The network runs from the university's main data center to campus and has the ability to transport multiple services including 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, SONET and Fibre Channel.

XKL, which is based in Redmond, Washington, provides optical transport with a router-like management structure. This includes well-known standards such as a familiar command line interface, SNMP, and an independent TCP/IP management network.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Huawei Supplies Optical Backbone for Magyar Telekom

Magyar Telekom has installed a 2,700 km optical backbone network using gear from Huawei Technologies.

The backbone, which covers all of the country including the capital city Budapest, is based on Huawei's OTN/ASON-based WDM platform and enables Magyar Telekom to migrate from providing traditional voice-oriented services through its previous DWDM system to providing next generation data-oriented services to its customers. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Magyar Telekom's majority shareholder (59.2%) is Deutsche Telekom AG. Magyar Telekom holds a majority stake in MakTel, the largest telecom operator of Macedonia and in Crnogorski Telekom, Montenegro's largest telecom operator.

Neuf Cegetel Reaches 3.3 Million Broadband Clients, up 70K

As of the end of Q1 2008, Neuf Cegetel had 3,294,000 broadband clients, an increase of 70,000 compared to the end of 2007; this includes +100,000 new customers for the Neuf brand and -30,000 customers for the other brands.

For Q1 2008, Neuf Cegetel reported revenue of EU 908 million, an increase of 13% versus the first quarter of 2007 (6% excluding the impact of Club Internet acquisition in June 2007). The Mass Market division generated revenues of €434 million in the first quarter, contributing to 49% of the Group's total revenues. Growth was 46% year-on-year, of which 23% excluding the impact of the acquisition of Club Internet.

The Enterprises division generated revenues of €272 million in the first quarter, a 5% increase year-on-year. Data revenues grew by 13% in the first quarter of 2007 (the Group had 179,000 enterprise data links at the end of March 2008) while switched voice revenues were 3% lower.

Wholesale division revenues came to €203 million in the first quarter, a 17% decrease year-on-year; excluding the impact of the acquisition of Club Internet, this decrease was 13%, i.e. the same order of magnitude as in the first quarter of 2007.
  • In April, Louis Dreyfus group sold its 28% stake in Neuf Cegetel at a price of EUR 34.50 per share. SFR is the second-largest mobile phone operator in France. Neuf Cegetel is the second largest broadband operator in France.

Nortel Revenue Rises to $2.76 Billion, Cites LG-Nortel Gain

Citing momentum from the completion of an LG-Nortel joint venture contract, Nortel reported Q1 2008 revenue of $2.76 billion, up by 11 percent year over year. Gross margin in the first quarter of 41.6 percent, up 120 basis points year over year. Operating margin in the first quarter of 4.7 percent, up 512 basis points year over year. The net loss in the first quarter of 2008 of $138 million included special charges of $88 million for restructurings, a loss of $19 million due to changes in foreign exchange rates, a charge of $12 million related to a patent lawsuit settlement and a gain of $16 million primarily from mark-to-market gains on interest rate swaps.

"Nortel had a strong first quarter, driven by the completion of a contract in our LG-Nortel joint venture and continued improvements in gross and operating margins. Nortel's operating margin, a critical measure of our plan's traction, expanded for the seventh consecutive quarter year over year, recording a 512 bps improvement to 4.7 percent," said Mike Zafirovski, Nortel president and chief executive officer. "We expect to achieve our full year guidance and we continue to make solid progress against the strategy to turn around the company. Our relentless focus on execution and our determination to deliver value to customers is strengthening the foundation upon which to build our performance over the balance of 2008 and beyond."

Some highlights for the quarter:

  • Carrier Networks (CN) revenue in the first quarter of 2008 was $1,218 million, an increase of 21 percent compared with the year ago quarter and a decrease of 10 percent sequentially. Compared to the year ago quarter, CN revenue benefited from the LG-Nortel joint venture contract completion, partially offset by a slight decline in CDMA and lower legacy switching sales.

  • Enterprise Solutions (ES) revenue in the first quarter of 2008 was $641 million, an increase of 7 percent compared with the year ago quarter and a decrease of 16 percent sequentially. Compared to the year ago quarter, ES revenues were positively impacted by higher voice and applications revenues, primarily from customer migration to unified communications, partially offset by a decline in the data networking business primarily from lower sales in the North American and EMEA regions and significant contract completions in the first quarter of 2007, not repeated to the same extent in the first quarter of 2008.

  • Global Services (GS) revenue in the first quarter of 2008 was $516 million, an increase of 15 percent compared with the year ago quarter and a decrease of 15 percent sequentially. The first quarter showed strong growth in network implementation services and managed services, partially offset by a decline in network support services. Compared to the year ago quarter, GS revenue benefited from the LG-Nortel joint venture contract completion and other growth in implementation services primarily in the Asia region.

  • Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) revenue in the first quarter of 2008 was $327 million, a decrease of 12 percent compared with the year ago quarter and a decrease of 24 percent sequentially. The year over year decrease in revenue was primarily due to decreases in optical and data revenue resulting from the completion of large contracts in the first quarter of 2007 not repeated to the same extent in the first quarter of 2008.

Vietnam National Telecoms Installs Cisco Telepresence System

Vietnam National Telecoms (VTN) has established Cisco TelePresence demonstration centers in Hanoi and Hochihminh City. The Cisco TelePresence systems are among a range of advanced communications technologies that will be showcased in the two centers.

The Cisco TelePresence systems enable staff and visitors at each location to participate in face-to-face meetings across a virtual table using life-size, ultra-high-definition 1080p video and high-quality, spatial audio. Also being featured in the two centers are communications technologies and applications that span the public, enterprise and home, including Cisco Unified Communications, IPTV, 802.11n Wi-Fi, WiMAX, telemedicine and e-learning.

Embarq Applauds Cap on USF

EMBARQ applauded the Federal Communications Commission's decision to cap support for competitive eligible telecommunications carriers under the Universal Service Fund.

David Zesiger, Embarq's Senior Vice President for Regulatory Policy and External Affairs, stated "By limiting support for multiple carriers in rural areas, as the Federal-State Joint Board recommended, the Commission showed its commitment to the long-term health of the Universal Service Fund, a commitment vital to rural America. The Universal Service Fund supports carriers in rural areas where it is costly to serve and often uneconomic to invest. The Commission's order caps support for multiple carriers in the same area -- places where the market cannot justify even a single carrier without USF support. By halting the fund's unsustainable growth, the order provides stability that enables comprehensive reform of the universal service system. Now, the Commission can focus on necessary changes to the USF program, including the need for geographically-targeted support. We encourage the Commission to continue yesterday's positive first step by adopting geographic targeting as the foundation for comprehensive USF reform for the benefit of rural America and all consumers."

FCC to Cap High Cost Support Under the Universal Service Fund

Seeking to stem the growth of the Universal Service while it pursues larger reform measures, the FCC adopted an interim
cap on payments to competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs). Total annual support for competitive ETCs will be capped at the level of support that they were eligible to receive in each state during March 2008.

Currently, consumers pay more than 11 percent in USF fees on their interstate phone bills. Growth in contributions to the fund is largely attributable to competitive ETCs, who receive USF support based not on their actual costs, but on the costs of the incumbent provider,
even if the competitive ETC's costs of providing service are lower. USF payments to competitive ETCs have grown from approximately $1.5 million in 2000 to more than $1 billion in 2007. Left unchecked, this staggering growth threatens the sustainability of the USF program and forces consumers to pay excessive and ever-increasing contributions to the fund.

The order contains limited exceptions from the cap: Competitive ETCs serving tribal lands or Alaska Native regions may continue to receive traditional support at uncapped levels for serving those historically underserved areas. Also, competitive ETCs that file their own cost data may obtain an exemption from the cap. Finally, the order addresses a number of pending competitive ETC petitions, while making clear that such petitions will not increase the amount of the adopted cap.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wrote: "Changes in technology and increases in the number of carriers that receive universal service support, however, have placed significant pressure on the stability of the Fund. A large and rapidly growing portion of the high-cost support program is now devoted to supporting multiple competitors to serve areas in which costs are prohibitively expensive for even one carrier. These competitive ETCs don't receive support based on their own costs, but rather on the costs of the incumbent provider, even if their costs of providing service are lower. Indeed, growth in required contributions to the Fund is largely attributable to these competitive ETCs. High-cost support to competitive ETCs has grown from approximately $1.5 million in 2000 to well over $1 billion in 2007. Left unchecked, this staggering growth threatens the sustainability of the Fund."

Writing in opposition, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps stated "I dissent from today's decision to cap high-cost support for competitive eligible
telecommunications carriers (CETC) because it falls woefully short of the fundamental, comprehensive reforms needed to meet the overarching telecommunications challenge of the Twenty-first century. That challenge, both by statute and by necessity, is to encourage the deployment of basic and advanced telecommunications to all of our citizens and to ensure that the Universal Service system, which accomplished so much in the 20th Century, can do so again now. Today's decision does nothing meaningful to meet that challenge; indeed, it only deflects us from the goal. The outcome is an illusory band-aid that is supposed to contain costs but, in reality, imposes the much heavier cost of lost opportunity to reform Universal Service and put America back in the vanguard of advanced telecommunications. As a result of today's vote, real reform is on the back-burner. What a pity!"

T-Mobile and Nokia Collaborate on Social Networking

T-Mobile and Nokia are collaborating to accelerate the availability of new Internet services and personal social communities on mobile devices. Under the agreement, the companies will offer their European customers faster and easier access to all of T-Mobile's web'n'walk Internet services as well as all to Nokia's Ovi Internet services on a wide range of Nokia devices. The goal is to drive the mobilization of social networks. The companies will partner to further enhance T-Mobile's community-oriented MyFaves service, launched in October 2007 in Europe, empowered by the Nokia user experience.

Widget cooperation is another focus area for the companies, where T-Mobile's leading web'n'walk offering will provide an even richer user experience. T-Mobile's web'n'walk offers customers an instant and customizable access to their most preferred Internet and messaging services.http://www.T-Mobile.net
  • In March, T-Mobile and Nokia announced the exclusive Nokia 6650 device for T-Mobile which will be available in July in Europe. This collaboration is the next step in intensifying the good partnership between the companies.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

WiMAX Forum and University of Maryland to Open Applications Lab

The WiMAX Forum has endorsed the MAXWell Lab at the University of Maryland as its first applications lab in North America. Designed to be an environment where future innovators from the university and corporations can develop and test new WiMAX applications, the MAXWell Lab will support application testing in a real-live environment at a technologically neutral site. The initial focus of the MAXWell Lab, which is part of the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, will be location-aware applications. For example, with the deployments of WiMAX in the Washington D.C. area, the Maryland-based MAXWell Lab will be an ideal site to test any applications that run on that system.

In addition to the North American MAXWell Lab, the WiMAX Forum endorsed the M-Taiwan WiMAX Application Lab located in Hsinchu, Taiwan in October 2007. The Taiwan lab, developed to test new WiMAX applications covering categories such as Voice over Internet Protocol and entertainment, opened its doors to equipment and application developers offering a chance to test their products and services for performance on a live WiMAX system and conduct and measure consumer acceptance before bringing them to market.http://www.wimaxforum.org