Sunday, June 22, 2008

One Minute Video: Connection-oriented Ethernet with PBB-TE

One Minute Video presented by Sam Lisle, Fujitsu Network Communications -- Connection-oriented Ethernet with PBB-TE

Jargon Buster

Parascale Secures $11.37 Million for Cloud Storage

Parascale, a start-up based in Cupertino, California, closed an $11.37 million Series A financing round for its cloud storage solutions for rich media content.

Parascale has developed a new class of storage solutions designed to support the wave of content-intensive applications, including video-on-demand, digital document archiving, scientific data analysis, video surveillance and medical image remote diagnosis among others. The company's Parascale Cloud Storage (PCS) is an application that aggregates disk storage on multiple standard Linux servers providing one highly scalable storage cloud, accessible via standard file access protocols. The PCS software automatically and transparently migrates and replicates files among storage nodes to balance and optimize performance -- without interruption in client access.

The funding was led by venture capital firms Charles River Ventures and Menlo Ventures. Parascale plans to use the funding for product development and marketing initiatives in preparation for the launch of its solution.
  • Earlier this month, Parascale announced the appointment of Sajai Krishnan as CEO. Krishnan comes to Parascale from NetApp, where he served five years. He was most recently the general manager of the company's StoreVault business unit that focuses on network storage appliances for mid-market businesses. Krishnan also served as the general manager of NetApp's Storage Management Software business, overseeing the company's core management products.

  • Parascale was founded by Cameron Bahar, who previous led the design, deployment, and operation of Scale8's one-thousand server distributed Internet storage service, which provided storage for digital content owners including MSN and Viacom/MTV. At the HP Enterprise Systems Technology Lab, he developed system software for disk volume management, data security, and grid provisioning.

Dell'Oro: Set-top box Sales Decline in Q1

the worldwide set-top box market contracted 6 percent sequentially to $3.5 billion in the first quarter of this year, according to a newly published report from Dell'Oro Group. The market was up 9 percent, however, compared to the year-ago quarter. The quarter's sequential decline was due to double-digit percent drop in the satellite STB market, which reflected seasonal weakness.

In 1Q08, HD shipments for the first time surpassed standard definition shipments as consumers are increasingly choosing HD services and service providers are deploying HD capable set-tops ahead of demand," Collins added.

Echostar, which was recently spun off from Dish Network, edged out Thomson in the first quarter for the top position in terms of unit shipments. Seasonality also impacted the results of the combined Pace and Philips, according to the report.

"The market for pay-TV services continues to see strong growth and competition, and these factors will continue to translate into healthy STB sales which are boosted by increasing volumes and average selling prices," commented Greg Collins, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "Prices continue to rise as high definition (HD) and digital video recorder (DVR) functionality becomes a higher percentage of the overall product mix.

Alltel Wireless Rolls out EVDO Rev A

Alltel Wireless announced the launch of EVDO Revision A technology in its network. The company plans an initial rollout of Rev. A to 18 market areas and dozens of cities, including Charlotte, New Orleans, Phoenix and Tampa. Customers using Rev. A will experience average upload speeds of 500-800 Kbps with bursts up to 1.8 Mbps. Upload speeds on the company's existing broadband network average 50-70 Kbps, with bursts up to 144 Kbps. Download speeds also will increase. The new Rev. A download speeds average 600 Kbps to 1.4 Mbps, with bursts up to 3.1 Mbps. By comparison, downloads on the existing broadband network average 400-700 Kbps with bursts up to 2.4 Mbps.

Alltel's Rev. A-capable Wireless Internet cards for laptops include the Huawei EC228 USB and the UTStarcom UM 150.

In addition to rolling out Rev. A in select markets, Alltel Wireless will continue to expand its existing EVDO network, which now covers 76 percent of its potential customers. By the end of 2008, Alltel expects to cover about 82 percent of its potential customers with EVDO.

City of Buffalo Deploys Crime Fighting Wireless Mesh

Police in the City of Buffalo, New York are using a wireless video surveillance system from Firetide and Avrio Group to fight crime. The first five arrests were made while the systems installation was still in progress. The suspects were caught on camera burglarizing a convenience store just ten hours after the police camera was installed nearby.

In its initial request for bids, Buffalo requested:

  • The ability to read license plates from 200 yards away.

  • Evidence-grade, real-time video (high-resolution streaming video at 30 frames per second).

  • Wind- and weather-proofing, and good performance in low lighting.

  • Flexibility to add and move cameras in the future.

The current system consists of 56 Avrio Rapid Deployment Surveillance Solution PoleCams -- portable units that integrate Axis network cameras and Firetide wireless mesh nodes in a weatherized enclosure -- plus 37 additional Firetide nodes for infrastructure connectivity. All PoleCams have been installed in overt locations with blue lights and police branding. Some of the cameras are pan-tilt-zoom network cameras that operators can control remotely. The video is monitored by members of the police force who are temporarily unable to patrol the streets, such as injured or pregnant officers. Funding for the current deployment came from the state of New York's Efficiency Grants.

Juniper Expands its s J-Care Technical Services

Juniper Networks has expanded its J-Care program with a family of performance-enabling services that combine automation features with personalized, proactive services, made possible by the intelligence and automated capabilities of new Advanced Insight Solutions (AIS).

J-Care Technical Services are designed to provide visibility into network assets, proactively identify potential device problems, help accelerate incidence resolution and ensure organizations can adapt and maintain a technical foundation for business agility to optimize the value of high-performance networks.

Leveraging Juniper's JUNOS 9.0 software, AIS provides a set of tools and technologies to automate the delivery of network and device information for proactive network protection and support services. AIS will be used to enable three new Technical Services:

  • J-Care Efficiency Services: AIS will send automated information on the network and its devices to customers to help identify any potential risks and reduce the time necessary for problem identification, troubleshooting and communication with technical support.

  • J-Care Continuity Services: In addition to the AIS-enabled automation features, this service includes access to Insight Technical Assistance -- immediate access to senior-level technical engineers for priority 1 and 2 issues -- as well as a Service Management Desk for case escalation.

  • J-Care Agility Services: Combining the benefits of AIS with highly personalized support and consultative services, J-Care Agility Services include proactive product reporting, access to insight technical assistance and a service manager to handle all services requests to help avoid incidents and ensure peak network performance. J-Care Agility Services offer the insight about the network that is required to maintain business agility. Advanced Options provide consulting services that help organizations address their forward-looking goals.

Each new service contains the basic levels of J-Care Essential Services, which includes 24x7 access to the Juniper Technical Assistance Center (JTAC), immediate access to the latest software releases, access to the Customer Support Center and options for hardware replacement. These new services will be available in both direct and partner branded versions.

Telenor Global Services selects Alcatel-Lucent for NGN

Telenor Global Services (TGS) has selected Alcatel-Lucent to provide an IP Next Generation Network (NGN) for their services worldwide. The solution purchased by Telenor is the Alcatel-Lucent NGN Class 4 / Peering Solution, which expands Class 4 services to IP Peering, thereby providing converged interconnect transit services for wholesale carriers. It involves the Alcatel-Lucent 5020 Media Gateway Controller-12, the Alcatel-Lucent 7510 Media Gateway, and the Fortinet Fortigate firewall. The globally distributed solution includes the 5020 MGC-12 - centrally located in Oslo, and points of presence in Singapore and Hong Kong that contain the media gateways, firewalls, and 7710 Service Router. Expected date of commercial operation is May 2009. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Telenor Global Services provides international interconnect services to Telenor's 140 million mobile subscribers in Asia and Europe. They are also providing services to other telecom operators.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

China Mobile Chooses Fujitsu's UNIX servers, Storage, Middleware

China Mobile Communications has selected Fujitsu's SPARC Enterprise UNIX servers, ETERNUS storage equipment, and PRIMECLUSTER middleware for its core information system, which is to be deployed in all 31 provinces, cities, and autonomous regions in mainland China. Financial terms were not disclosed.

China Mobile Communications' core IT system encompasses its billing system, network management system, and other critical functions, with all systems operating 24 x 7. To enable this core IT system, Fujitsu won an order consisting of 200 SPARC Enterprise UNIX servers, including its top-of-the-line M9000 as well as mid-range models, 30 units of its storage equipment, primarily consisting of the high-end ETERNUS8000 model 2100, and one installation of its PRIMECLUSTER middleware package to ensure overall system reliability. The complete order, worth a total of 2 billion yen, is scheduled to be gradually deployed over the next five months.

NSN Introduces Multi-haul WDM Spanning Metro to Core

Nokia Siemens Networks introduced an integrated DWDM platform serving metro, core and ultra long-haul networks. The latest release of the hiT 7300 platform supports all reaches and transmission speeds at pay-as-you-grow economics.

Specifically, the hiT 7300 comes with a rich multi-service and multi-reach feature set. The hiT 7300 supports both CWDM, DWDM or a mix of both on the same fiber. Transponder cards support traditional SONET/SDH, Ethernet and Storage Area Network (SAN) services at different speeds. The client interfaces are software configurable for various services. The latest release of hiT 7300 is also available in a flatpack form factor suitable as customer premise equipment (CPE) for tight space requirements.

In addition, the new hiT 7300 supports Point-To-Point, rings structures and meshed network topologies. The hiT 7300 also comes with a unique planning and configuration tool called TransNet.

Nokia Siemens Networks noted that more than 1,500 hiT 7300 systems have been shipped to date to more than 50 customers in 38 countries.

AT&T Teams with Covisint and Microsoft on Nationwide Health-Information Exchange

AT&T, Covisint (a subsidiary of Compuware) and Microsoft announced a major eHealth initiative -- a nationwide information exchange -- to enhance the health care experience for patients and practitioners.

AT&T Healthcare Community Online will offer managed services, applications and authentication services while promoting the widespread adoption of health-information technology by providing authorized doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, labs and patients with access to test results, prescription records, best practices and medical histories.

AT&T will provide a Virtual Private Network (VPN)-based portal, called AT&T Healthcare Community Online, that will leverage two AT&T patents that enable electronic health care data exchange.

The new eHealth information exchange, enabled by Covisint's On-Demand Healthcare Platform and layered on AT&T's eHealth solutions and MPLS network, shares information electronically and in a security-enhanced way across the continuum of care -- from patient to provider communities such as HealthVault, health-information exchanges and insurers. It allows consumers using Microsoft HealthVault, a software- and service-based platform for storing and accessing personal health information, to share information with authorized physicians and health care providers connected to AT&T Healthcare Community Online.http://www.att.com

Nokia to Acquire Plazes for Location Awareness

Nokia agreed to acquire Plazes AG, a start-up developing a location-aware social networking service, for an undisclosed sum.
Plazes is a privately-owned company of 13 people with its principal operations in Berlin. After closing, Plazes will become part of Nokia's Services & Software unit.

Plazes is offering a context-aware social-activity service that people can use to plan, record, and share their social activities: why they are at a given location at a given time, whether in the past, present or future. Plazes adds the elements of "place" and "time" to social networking through features that allow people to alert friends of their activity and location; review their own and others' past activities; share their experiences and make plans with friends, who are then able to respond with comments and suggestions as well as their own location information.

In Memorium: Zenith's Carl G. Eilers, Father of Stereo FM and Stereo TV

Carl G. Eilers, considered the "Father of Stereo FM Radio and Stereo Television Sound," for pioneering work during his 50-year career at Zenith Electronics, has passed away at the age of 83. Over the years, Eilers had been granted 21 U.S. patents, and authored numerous technical papers and articles.

Eilers joined Zenith in 1948 after receiving his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. Through 1961, he worked on the world's first pay television system, Zenith Phonevision, earning key patents on subscription TV technologies. During that period, Eilers led Zenith's development effort on stereophonic FM radio broadcasting. The stereo FM standard he co-developed was first adopted by the Federal Communications Commission in 1961 and is still in use today around the world. Two decades later, as R&D manager, Eilers co-developed Zenith's MTS (multichannel television sound) stereo TV system, adopted by the industry in 1984. Through the 1990s, Eilers was a key member of Zenith's high definition television (HDTV) development team.

T-Mobile USA Adds Nokia and Samsung Handsets to HotSpot @Home Service

T-Mobile USA announced the availability of the Nokia 6301 and Samsung SGH-t339 to the lineup of phones that support T-Mobile HotSpot @Home service, which provides unlimited, nationwide calling over any accessible Wi-Fi connection in addition to great in-home coverage.

The red Samsung t339 is a Wi-Fi-enabled phone outfitted with stereo Bluetooth, a 1.3 megapixel camera with video capture, a music player and instant messaging capability.

The Nokia 6301 provides the style of a home phone with the look of a mobile. The sleek, stainless steel bar phone comes with a standup charger so customers can conveniently dock their phone, similar to the design of a home cordless phone. The Nokia 6301 is also equipped with a 2.0 megapixel camera with video capture, stereo Bluetooth and a music player.

"Since launching T-Mobile HotSpot @Home nearly a year ago, T-Mobile has remained committed to building our portfolio of handsets to support this innovative wireless service," said Sajal Sahay, director of product marketing, T-Mobile USA. "These new phones are stylish offerings for our customers who want to take advantage of unlimited nationwide calling and great wireless coverage -- all for an affordable price."
  • T-Mobile USA launched its HotSpot@Home fixed-mobile-convergence (FMC) service in June 2007.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent and SpeedCast Offer Hosted DVB-H in Asia

Alcatel-Lucent and SpeedCast announced plans to jointly market, deploy and operate a shared, hosted DVB-H platform for mobile TV operators in Asia. The companies will provide operators around the region with a state-of-the art DVB-H head-end capable of delivering more than 20 TV channels via satellite (in the Ku-band or in the C-band) to their transmission towers for terrestrial broadcast (in the UHF band) to DVB-H handheld devices. The turnkey solution combines all the elements required for mobile TV, including the service platform, a security and encryption technology, the platform for encoding into a DVB-H compatible format, the satellite delivery to terrestrial infrastructure and a very large number of TV channels with world-class content - across the major genres spanning news, music, sports, lifestyle and entertainment -- which can be customized for different ethnic audiences.http://www.alcatel-lucent.com

VoiceCon Amsterdam Announced for October 14-16

TechWeb (formerly CMP) announced plans to host its first European VoiceCon event in Amsterdam from October 14-16, 2008 at the Amsterdam RAI. VoiceCon Amsterdam is both a conference and an exhibition, and VoiceCon Amsterdam will present the leading international companies in the IP Telephony, Unified and Converged Communications industries.

Supreme Court of Canada Approves BCE Privatization Plan

The Supreme Court of Canada reinstated a lower court order approving BCE's plan of arrangement. This opens the path to complete the previously announced sale of the company to an investor group led by Teachers' Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, Providence Equity Partners Inc., Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.

"Today's unanimous decision by the Supreme Court affirms BCE's long standing position that the plan of arrangement complies with the rights and reasonable expectations of Bell Canada debenture holders," said Richard J. Currie, Chair of the Board of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada.

BCE also gained final approval from CRTC. Further, Industry Canada is expected to confirm its approval of the privitization deal.

BCE said it now believes that it can close the transaction in the third quarter of 2008.

FCC Mulls Changes for AWS Spectrum in the 1.9 and 2.1 GHz Bands

The FCC is considering requiring public access to free, nationwide, high-speed wireless broadband Internet services using a portion of the winning bidder's network in the 2.1 GHz Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum. Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on proposed rules for the AWS spectrum in the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, and 2155-2180 MHz bands.

In 2004, the FCC sought comment on service rules for the 1915-1920 MHz, 1995-2000 MHz, 2020-2025 MHz, and 2175-2180 MHz bands ("AWS-2"), and in 2007, the FCC sought comment on service rules for the 2155-2175 MHz band ("AWS-3").

Regarding the 2155-2180 MHz band, the FCC proposes combining the 2155-2175 MHz band with the 2175-2180 MHz band to create a 25 megahertz block of spectrum and a single nationwide license for the 2155-2180 MHz band. This larger block size may allow
the AWS-3 licensee to make more robust use of the spectrum while operating at a stricter out-of-band emission limit. Alternatively, another proposed option would be to retain the 2155-2175 MHz AWS-3 block and allow the licensee to operate with a more traditional out-of-band
emission limit.

The FCC is further proposing requiring the licensee for the 2155-2180 MHz spectrum to provide -- using up to 25 percent of its wireless network capacity -- free, two-way broadband Internet service at engineered data rates of at least 768 kbps downstream. Additional obligations
associated with the licensee's free broadband service would include a requirement to provide a network-based filtering mechanism for the free Internet service in order to protect children and families, and a requirement that the network allow for the use of open devices.

The build-out requirements for the licensee would be to provide signal coverage and offer service to at least 50 percent of the total U.S. within four years and to at least 95 percent of the U.S. population by the end of the 10-year license term.

U.S. House Approves Electronic Surveillance Bill

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 293-129 to approve a bill (H.R. 6304) that grants immunity to telecom firms that participated in President Bush's warrantless surveillance program. The bill, which serves as an update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), affirms that the FISA courts and procedures are the exclusive means of collecting foreign intelligence. Electronic eavesdropping without court approval is permitted only during emergencies, so long as the government agencies conducting the surveillance submit justifications to the FISA court within one week. The bill also requires court permission and establishment of probable cause for surveillance of Americans overseas, and prohibits a process in which the communications of a U.S. citizen could be monitored without court approval by targeting a foreigner.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

MRV Releases LambdaDriver OPN1600 MPLS Optical Packet

MRV Communications introduced a new LambdaDriver OPN1600 blade that combines packet switching with optical transport for carriers migrating to next-generation hybrid packet-optical networks.

The LambdaDriver OPN1600 is a packet optical transport network (POTN) solution that supports both multi-degree ROADM and optical-electronic-optical (OEO) cross connect functionality in the same solution. This capability is integrated with LambdaDriver's support for services ranging from T1/E1 to 40 Gbps WDM in the same wavelength-switching chassis.

In addition, the LambdaDriver supports both TDM transport and Metro Ethernet connection-oriented packet traffic simultaneously with advanced traffic management. It enables a smooth migration from SONET/SDH to Metro Ethernet optical transport networks.

The new OPN1600-8C2 module has eight Gigabit Metro Ethernet transport ports for network access connections. These ports can set any-to-any mapping policy to two 10GE LAN/WAN Metro MPLS transport uplinks. The dual 10GE uplink interfaces support IEEE802.3ae-compliant 10GE WAN mode for bi-directional 10GE transmission over SONET/SDH (OC192/STM-64). This solution provides end-to-end data transmission over local-, regional- and metropolitan-area fiber-optic networks with a direct connection to SONET/SDH using corresponding rate and framing.

The OPN1600-8C2 module offers multi-layer SLA management from physical-layer light paths to packet level QoS, ensuring end-to-end visibility for transport and packet services under the same unified control plane. This integration brings outstanding service flexibility in network design and improved SLAs for service providers.

MRV said its OPN1600 enables end-to-end optical & packet mapping with sub 50ms recovery time and 99.999% availability.

MRV Debuts Carrier Aggregation Platform with Packet-to-Optical Service Mapping

MRV Communications introduced its OptiSwitch OS9124-410G, a packet optical aggregation platform that combines reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexing (ROADM), packet switching and generalized-MPLS (GMPLS) to deliver complete packet-to-optical service mapping in a single device.

MRV's first-mile Metro Ethernet access/aggregation platform offers 10 Gbps WDM ports and can provision enhanced Ethernet/IP/MPLS services across a WDM transport using a unified control plane. The GMPLS-based control plane of the OS9124 is able to make physical-layer switching decisions based on information at layer 2, 3 or 4 of the IP stack. This platform is aimed at the carrier-class auto-reconfigurable packet optical transport network (POTN) market.

The 2RU-high OptiSwitch OS9124-410G includes 24 predefined lasers for high-speed rates of 2.5 Gbps or 1Gbps and up to four tunable lasers for 10G DWDM wavelength services. Additionally, it offers built-in signal reshaping, retiming and retransmitting functionality for increased and optimized distance, service classification and connection-oriented mapping that enable any-to-any service stitching and comprehensive mesh technology. Like all OptiSwitch devices, the OS9124-410G offers a complete suite of OAM services, including multilayer end-to-end service and advanced fiber performance monitoring.

MRV said that through the use of a converged, automated GMPLS control plane and reconfigurable multi-degree OEO-switched ROADM data plane, its platform can reduce network operations expenses. It can perform auto-discovery of network topology, advertise resource availability and establish/maintain protected and traffic-engineered optical paths with holistic view of the service from physical layer up to service layer.