Sunday, May 25, 2008

Czech's Sloane Park Deploys Cisco for Optical Transport

Sloane Park Property Trust, which provides wholesale telecommunications and data transit services using a fiber network installed along oil pipelines and Czech railways routes across the Czech Republic, has selected Cisco for its optical transport network. The next-generation transport network (NGTN) based on Cisco's routing and optical networking technologies spans some 1,500 km. The network is equipped with Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform and ONS 15216 products. Cisco 7600 Series Routers provide Gigabit Ethernet aggregation on a metro-network level to support "triple play" service delivery. The backbone upgrade replaces a synchronous digital hierarchy core and supports traffic rates of 10 Gbps. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Reliance Globalcom to Acquire VANCO, a Virtual Network Operator

Reliance Globalcom Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Communications, has agreed to acquire UK-based Global Managed Network Services. Media sources valued the deal at around GBP 39 million.

Vanco is a Virtual Network Operator (VNO) based in the UK. The company leases telecom infrastructure and capacity from other carriers to deliver its managed network services. Vanco's services include the design, integration, implementation, security and management of global corporate networks. Vanco's customers, who rely on Vanco through long-term service agreements for the successful functioning of their business critical network communications, include Accor, Avis Europe, British Airways, Bureau Veritas, Ford Motor Company, IBM/Lloyds TSB and Pilkington. Vanco currently has over 200 enterprise customers.

Reliance Globalcom, a division of Reliance Communications, spearheads the Global Telecom operations of India's largest Integrated Telecom Service Provider. Reliance Globalcom brings together the synergies of Reliance Communications Global Business encompassing Enterprise Services, Capacity Sales, Managed Services and a bouquet of Retail products & services comprising of Global Voice, Internet Solutions and Value Added Services. The company said its customer list includes over 1000 enterprises, 200 carriers and 1.5 million retail customers in 50 countries across 5 continents.http://www.relianceglobalcom.com

Infineon's CEO Announces Resignation

Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart announced his resignation as president and CEO of Infineon Technologies AG. He has held the positions for the past four years. During his term of office, Ziebart strategically re-positioned the company and amongst others carved-out the memory business to form a separate legal entity, Qimonda, which was listed at the NYSE in August 2006.

Intelsat Names Kay Sears to Head Intelsat General

Intelsat named Kay Sears has as President of the company's subsidiary, Intelsat General, which provides commercial satellite capacity for civil and defense-related government applications. Sears will replace departing Intelsat General President & CEO William Shernit, who is retiring. Most recently, Ms. Sears served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development of Intelsat General.

Ericsson Awarded Maintenance Contract for Telefónica Brasil

Ericsson announced a three-year contract to supervise and provide preventive and corrective maintenance services for Telefónica's fiber network in São Paulo state, beginning in April 2008. Ericsson said the new agreement will allow Telefónica to reduce costs and streamline network management and operations. It will enable shorter time to market for new services while ensuring customers that these are first rate.

Ericsson noted that it has won more than 100 managed services contracts with operators worldwide since 2002, and that it now supports networks that handle more than one billion subscribers worldwide.

China's MII Spurs Industry Restructuring, 3 Majors to Compete

China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Ministry of Finance have given the go ahead for a significant restructuring of the nation's telecom industry. Specifically, MII is encouraging China Telecom to buy China Unicom's CDMA network. China Unicom's GSM division is to merge with China Netcom. In addition, China Telecom is to acquire the basic telecom services unit of China Satcom and China Mobile Communications Corp. (CMCC) is to to acquire China Tietong Telecommunications Corp.

China Telecom, China Netcom, and China Tietong are fixed line providers, while China Satcom offers services including satellite, mobile communications and Internet services.

MII said the restructuring would create three nationwide service providers with both fixed and mobile assets. 3G licenses will be granted to each of the companies.

Optical Internetworking Forum to Address 100G Long-haul DWDM

The Optical Internetworking Forum's Physical and Link Layer Working Group (PLL WG) designated a new work project to address 100G long-haul DWDM. The project will result in a DWDM transmission implementation agreement (IA) focused on a specific modulation format and receiver approach. It will seek to reach agreement on a Forward Error Correction (FEC) algorithm suitable for the long-haul 100G application. This implementation agreement will complement and build upon the work already underway defining 100 G Ethernet in the IEEE, and the new 100 G level of the Optical Transport Hierarchy (OTH) in the ITU-T.

The OIF said its goal is to foster the development of an ecosystem where service providers, data and optical networking equipment vendors, optical module and subsystem vendors, and underlying component providers will work together to accelerate the availability of high performance, cost-effective long distance transmission solutions for 100G.

"With network element vendors already in development for 100G, we will select an implementation approach supported by a critical mass within the industry," said David Stauffer, of IBM and the OIF's PLL WG chair. "We see an immediate need to focus on a solution for long-distance DWDM."

Additionally, while at the Forum's quarterly meeting this month, members of the PLL WG adopted baseline requirements for an electrical specification for 25 Gbps backplane (long reach) interfaces. This follows the prior adoption by the WG of baseline requirements for an electrical specification for 28 Gbps chip-to-chip and chip-to-module (short reach) interfaces. These electrical specifications will be added as additional clauses in the next generation of the Common Electrical I/O (CEI) implementation agreement.

Zayo Bandwidth Selects Infinera for Northeastern Network

Zayo Bandwidth, a provider of fiber-based bandwidth in 17 states, has selected Infinera for its regional network in the Northeastern U.S. Specifically, Zayo has deployed Infinera DTN system in the busy northeastern corridor from New York to Washington, DC as well as interconnecting Chicago to the east coast. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Zayo has deployed Infinera in the busy northeastern corridor from New York to Washington, DC as well as interconnecting Chicago to the east coast to serve the increasing bandwidth requirements of its customers. Zayo chose Infinera because the Infinera Digital ROADM offers high capacity and integrated, reconfigurable switching, enabling Zayo to provision or reconfigure bandwidth quickly and cost-effectively.

Infinera said Zayo chose its Digital ROADM offers high capacity and integrated, reconfigurable switching, enabling Zayo to provision or reconfigure bandwidth quickly and cost-effectively.

Zayo offers a wide range of telecom services including private line, Ethernet, wavelength, Internet and colocation services to customers in the telecom, enterprise and government sectors and other bandwidth-intensive organizations.

The Infinera DTN is a Digital ROADM for long-haul and metro core networks, combining high-capacity DWDM transport, integrated digital bandwidth management, and GMPLS-powered service intelligence in a single platform. The Infinera DTN system is based on Infinera's large-scale photonic integrated circuits (PICs), which integrate more than 60 optical devices on a pair of chips, to enable an optical system with 100 Gbps of capacity on every line card.
  • Zayo has raised more than $340 million in private equity and debt financing to support an aggressive plan to provide telecom services in selected regional markets

Broadweave to Fix or Replace FTTH Gateways on iProvo Network

Broadweave Networks, which two weeks ago announced plans to purchase the iProvo FTTH network from the City of Provo, Utah, disclosed that it will need to replace the home gateways used on the network. During the process of its due diligence on the network, Broadweave said it discovered problems with the fiber-to-the-home portals which are located at each customer's home. The problem with the gateways has proven to be the cause of telephone service failures on the fiber-optic network--a problem that Broadweave vowed to fix immediately upon closing the purchase of the network.

While Broadweave intends to replace the home portals as a first item of business as the network's new owner, Broadweave said it will also give the manufacturer a period of time to fix the problems. The gateways do not natively support SIP. Broadweave relies heavily on SIP for delivering telephone service over its other FTTH networks. The company said it has given the manufacturer 90 days after the acquisition closes to fix the problem in firmware or it will begin replacing the devices.

The iProvo network currently passes 36,000 homes with approximately 10,500 homes connected.
  • Earlier this month, the City of Provo, Utah confirmed plans to sell its iProvo network to Broadweave Networks, a local fiber-optic services provider, for $40.6 million. Under the terms of the deal, which is subject to municipal council approval, the city retains a license to use the network to connect city buildings, schools, and power infrastructure. Broadweave will operate as both the network owner and the service provider. The City said the sale price is enough to retire the outstanding bonds incurred to build the network. iProvo is believed to be the largest municipally owned fiber-to-the-premises network in the U.S., passing all 36,000 residences and businesses within the city.

Ericsson Strengthens its Managed Services Offering

Ericsson is strengthening its Managed Services and Systems Integration practice, which ranges from designing, building, operating and managing day-to-day operations of a customer's network, including end-user services and business support systems, to hosting service applications and content, as well as providing network coverage and capacity on demand.

Ericsson said it is now strengthening its efforts to address the increasingly interdependent and complex crossroads of telecom and IT, leveraging its telecom expertise. The Systems Integration and Managed Services IT offering means that Ericsson can design, integrate and manage the IT parts of the telecom operator environments - covering the service layer, business support systems and operations support systems, including services such as billing, messaging and content delivery.

Fredrik Strand, Vice President and General Manager Service Delivery and Operations, Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson, says: "The operator environment is becoming more and more IT-oriented as the number of end-user services and applications grow. As a systems integration and managed services partner, Ericsson supports telecom operators in this environment in creating, deploying and managing networks and services with a holistic approach, ultimately benefiting the operators' customers through increased quality of service."

The announcement comes with the first anniversary of Ericsson's Global Services Delivery Center in Bucharest, Romania, which acts as a global competence center for managing IT environments on behalf of operators. Ericsson's services organization employs about 29,500 professionals worldwide, all working with the same global process, methods and tools. About 7,500 of these employees work across 21 Global Services Delivery Centers, ensuring business readiness in serving Ericsson's customers around the world.

Enhancements to Nokia Maps include Pedestrian Navigation, Satellite Images

Nokia announced a number of enhancements to its Maps application. A partial list of the updated features in Nokia Maps 2.0 includes:

  • Faster routing in Car Navigation mode along with a new navigation carousel with pre-defined navigation views - i.e. navigation, arrow, bird-eye.

  • Optional pedestrian navigation walks you from A to B with visual guidance. It helps you to locate yourself by giving information about the surrounding buildings, streets and parks and, if the device supports it, notifies the direction you are walking.

  • Public transportation information (station entrances) data in 17 cities with localized icons for stops.

  • Multi-sensor positioning using A-GPS, and pedestrian orientation using the compass feature (Nokia 6210 Navigator needed for built-in compass usage)

  • Satellite images with hybrid rendering overlays for selected cities worldwide provide real aerial views on your mobile.

  • "One-box search" allows you to search through places, addresses, restaurants, nightlife, outdoor, accommodation.

  • New premium multi-media city guides including features photos, video, audio streams.

Orange and Nokia Partner on Mobile Services

Orange and Nokia announced a three year partnership under which ten new Nokia handsets will be offered as part of the Orange Signature range. The companies will also launch a suite of integrated multimedia services on the new Nokia handset. The new services will launch in H208 across nine major markets.

As part of the strategic partnership, customers will have direct access to the Orange Music Store, both Orange and NGage games, as well as Nokia Maps. Under the Orange Signature programme, all services will be integrated into the familiar Orange user interface, providing one click access to information and entertainment.

"This collaboration underlines Orange's drive to create strategic partnerships that will give customers the best possible mobile multimedia experience in the simplest way," said Olaf Swantee, EVP of Orange's Personal Communications Services. "Combined with our leadership in mobile multimedia innovation and relationships with leading content providers, Orange believes that Nokia's devices and Ovi platform will make a powerful environment for the provision of a joint range of services," added Georges Penalver, EVP of Orange's Group Strategic Marketing.

"We are pleased to create this strategic partnership with Orange and believe that the combination of Signature and Ovi services will extend and enrich consumer choice," said Kai Öistämö, EVP, Devices, Nokia. "We also expect our close collaboration to extend beyond the initial focus areas of music, games, maps and advertising to include other services over time."

Quebec Court of Appeal Stops BCE's Privatization

The Quebec Court of Appeal has blocked BCE's proposed privatization plan. Earlier in the week, it was reported that several of the key involved in the transaction were seeking to change interest rates and other key terms of deal due to the ongoing credit crunch.

BCE said it is now seeking direction from the Supreme Court of Canada.
  • In June 2007, BCE, the parent company of Bell Canada, agreed to be acquired by an investor group led by Teachers Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners Inc. and Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC. The all-cash transaction was valued at C$51.7 billion (US$48.5 billion) at the time, including C$16.9 billion (US$15.9 billion) of debt, preferred equity and minority interests. The BCE Board of Directors unanimously recommended that shareholders vote to accept the offer. The equity ownership of BCE would be as follows: Teachers Private Capital 52%, Providence 32%, Madison Dearborn 9% and other Canadian investors 7%.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Indosat Selects NSN for 3G Service Delivery Platform

Indosat, one of the leading service providers in Indonesia,

has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to implement a 3G Service Delivery Platform (SDP) in its network. Based on Nokia Siemens Networks' Service Delivery Framework ecosystem, the solution comprises content management, a video gateway, a video portal, video streaming, messaging gateway platform, charging and partner management as well as best-of-breed products from selected partners for a comprehensive solution to meet Indosat's customers' needs. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will ensure the systems integration of the platform into Indosat's network and provide maintenance and competence development and training services to the customer.

Indosat will use the platform to bring to market different types of rich content from their content partners to its customers. The full platform also has the capability to enable Indosat to migrate their existing 2G content providers, creating a dynamic 2G and 3G service delivery platform for their subscribers.

Romtelecom Deploys Cisco CRS-1

Romtelecom, the incumbent carrier in Romania, has implemented a new Cisco Internet Protocol Next-Generation Network (IP NGN), based on the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System. With support from Cisco's Advanced Services department, Romtelecom is proactively preparing for an increase in broadband demand and business users' requirements for new, highly secure services, such as high-availability virtual private networks (VPNs). Financial terms were not disclosed.

India's Spice Telecom Deploys Veraz Controlswitch

Spice Telecom, a mobile operator in India, has deployed the Veraz ControlSwitch and I-Gate 4000 media gateways for a national and international MPLS-based long distance network. Spice Telecom currently offers mobile services in the states of Punjab and Karnataka. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Veraz's platform provides Spice with a flexible IP-based solution that helps protect and improve voice profitability via efficient network operations and a twelve fold increase in voice capacity. A single ControlSwitch is spanning sixteen sites throughout northern India, with SS7 signaling and EMS module redundancy in two sites for full disaster recovery.

Wipro Infotech deployed the turn key solution for Spice Telecom on the Veraz platform, along with interconnect billing and Lawful Interception. A comprehensive 24 x 7 NOC is setup for complete life cycle support for Spice, providing tools like network performance dashboard, network monitoring capabilities, and reports.http://www.veraznet.com
  • Telecom Malaysia is a 39% stakeholder in Spice Telecom.

NEC Electronics Introduces H.264 Chips for STBs

NEC Electronics introduced two new image-processing chipsets based on its enhanced multimedia architecture (EMMA) platform and optimized for set-top boxes (STBs) and digital TVs (DTVs) supporting the H.264 video compression standard. The EMMA3SL/SD system-on-chip (SoC) supports standard-definition video broadcasts, while the EMMA3SL/HD SoC supports high-definition broadcasts. The devices are the latest additions to NEC Electronics' family of H.264-compliant EMMA3 SoCs, which have achieved market success since 2006 in blue laser DVD players and high-definition TV (HDTV) products.

In addition to having an H.264-compliant video decoder, the devices combine all of the key functions needed to receive and decode digital broadcasts, including built-in digital signal processors (DSPs) that enable systems using Dolby Digital Plus or high-efficiency advanced audio coding (HE-AAC) to play back high-quality audio streams even at low transfer rates.

Barracuda Spam Firewall Scales to 100,000 Concurrent Email Users

Barracuda Networks introduced a high-performance spam firewall appliance designed for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other large organizations with up to 100,000 concurrent email users and 5,000 domains.

The Barracuda Spam Firewall 1000 is priced at $89,999 with no per user licensing fees. It comes in a 2U full-size form factor and includes 200 GB message log storage and 750GB storage capacity for quarantined messages. Advanced capabilities include redundant hot swap power supplies, and dual gigabit Ethernet ports. Multiple Barracuda Spam Firewall 1000 models can be clustered for both scalability and redundancy.

Mocana Raises $7 million for Networked Device Security

Mocana, a start-up based in San Francisco, closed $7 million in venture funding for its security software protection for networked devices.

Mocana is focused on the security threat represented by non-PC "things" connecting to the network, like PDAs, routers, DVRs, printers, iPods, and even cars or digital picture frames. Each one of these new devices represents a "soft target" for hackers and an easy way in to the rest of the network. This is because third- and fourth-generation attack techniques are being unleashed upon millions of non-PC devices armed with first-generation security, at best.

Mocana offers a Device Security Framework (DSF) that secures communications to and from any device connected to the network, as well as the data and applications residing on those devices. This latest round of financing will be used to enhance and expand the 20 security components that currently make up Mocana's DSF so that manufacturers and service providers can ensure that security is inherent in the device, to protect against existing and emerging threats.

The new funding was led by Southern Cross Venture Partners. Mocana's only previous institutional investor, Shasta Ventures also provided investment for this round, increasing their ownership position in the company and bringing Mocana's total capital backing to $12.1M.

Sandvine Offers Application Agnostic "Fair Share" Traffic Management

Sandvine introduced new "FairShare" capabilities to help broadband service operators ensure fair usage in the shared access network .

Sandvine's "FairShare" works with the company's suite of Traffic Optimization solutions using an application-agnostic approach. FairShare automatically responds to the changing network environment and subscriber usage patterns in real-time. It collects subscriber usage metrics from various sources and analyzes the data according to configurable parameters. Based on the results, FairShare dynamically modifies policies to balance available bandwidth and resources among subscribers.

"Sandvine FairShare incorporates more decision factors and more policy options that enable broadband providers to ensure fair allocation of network resources and optimize network efficiency," said Don Bowman, Sandvine Chief Technology Officer. "FairShare's approach is unique because it can implement both application-aware and application-agnostic network management strategies. FairShare takes into account the three key dimensions of traffic - speed, latency and jitter -- to ensure the reliable delivery of the broadest range of applications with the highest level of overall subscriber satisfaction, especially during periods of heavy usage."