Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Comcast Completes 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) Router Test with Cisco

Comcast has completed a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) technology test over its existing backbone infrastructure between Philadelphia and McLean, VA using the industry's first 100GE router interface developed for the Cisco CRS-1 routing system.

The Cisco CRS-1 100GE interface uses Comcast's existing optical infrastructure to enable transmission of 100GE over DWDM fiber optic networks. Cisco said the use of 100 Gigabit Ethernet router interfaces enables greater bandwidth per wavelength by a factor of 10 over the initial deployed capability. It also creates efficiencies by simplifying routing and operations through the use of statistically multiplexed 100GE links, in comparison to carrying the same amount of traffic split over more commonly used 10GE links.

Cisco also noted that the implementation tested by Comcast is consistent with the emerging IEEE 802.3ba 100GE standard and validates the use of 100GE and IPoDWDM technologies over Comcast's own production network, which was the first, and is currently the world's largest 40G IPoDWDM network.
  • In March 2008, Comcast conducted a test of Nortel's 100 Gbps line rate optical transmission solution at the 71st meeting of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) conference, which was held in Philadelphia. The 100G solution ran over Comcast's existing fiber network. The test network was comprised of Comcast's existing Common Photonic Layer DWDM solution with 50GHz enhanced Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (eROADM) and photonic components, augmented with prototype 100G interfaces installed in Nortel's Optical Multiservice Edge 6500. The 100G cards utilize Nortel's 40G/100G Adaptive Optical Engine, with integrated dispersion compensation and dual-polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK) modulation, the same technology used in Nortel's present 40G solution. The 100G trial runs from Philadelphia to McLean (Virginia), traversing Comcast's metro and long-haul fibers. The companies said Comcast's network trial was the first time real traffic is run over a 100G wavelength on its existing network. The network also carried live 10G and 40G links. The trial ran in parallel over the same optical infrastructure that supports a combination of high definition or HD video, Internet and voice traffic on Comcast's 40G national backbone network.

New Forum Established to Address Network Security -- ICASI

A new Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI) has been founded by Cisco, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks and Microsoft, with the aim of enhancing global IT security by proactively driving excellence and innovation in security response.

ICASI's mission is to provide a forum for global companies committed to proactively addressing complex, multi-product security threats and to better protecting enterprises, governments and citizens, as well as the critical IT infrastructures that support them.

The founding companies said their action is necessitated by the increasing sophistication of Internet attacks and the integration of applications, now common in IT environments, that pose real challenges for IT vendors. Online attacks occur more frequently and in more rapid succession, while often spanning international boundaries.

ICASI does not seek to respond to every product security issue that emerges, but rather the consortium is designed to respond to and ideally reduce the potential customer impact of global, multi-vendor cyber threats. The organization is organized around four guiding principles.

  • Customer security - Through ICASI's collaboration and leadership, IT vendors will be better able to identify and resolve multi-vendor security threats quickly, thereby helping to reduce the security threat impact and improve customer security.

  • Agility and effectiveness - ICASI is committed to improving the efficiency and effectiveness of multi-vendor threat resolution and security response practices.

  • Collaboration and trust - ICASI creates a unique environment where information, necessary to quickly solve security-related threats, can be shared, as appropriate.

  • Leadership and innovation - ICASI includes leading IT companies from around the world and leverages their expertise to innovate security response excellence, which it shares with the industry.

Comcast Expands Deployment of Juniper MX- and T-series Routers

Comcast has ordered additional Juniper Networks MX-series Ethernet Services Routers and T1600 core routers. Last year, Comcast began deploying the MX-series platforms to support business services offerings in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. Juniper said the new routers that Comcast is now purchasing are expected to be incorporated later this year into the company's metro regional network architecture, which carries traffic for all of its services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Indonesia's Excelcomindo selects Alcatel-Lucent for IP/MPLS

PT Excelcomindo (XL), a major cellular provider in Indonesia, has chosen Alcatel-Lucent's end-to-end solution to provide carrier Ethernet services in Jakarta's business district. Specifically, XL will deploy Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS portfolio, including its 7750 Service Router, 7450 Ethernet Service Switch and the 7250 Service Access Switch, all managed end-to-end by the 5620 Service Aware Manger. The contract also includes consultation, design project management, application/ software, installation and commissioning maintenance services. XL plans to offer differentiated services to its corporate customers, including IP/MPLS-based virtual leased line (VLL) and VPLS services as well as circuit emulation services.

Miyowa Raises $8 Million for IM/Presence Technologies

Miyowa, a start-up based in Paris, raised $8 million in second round venture funding for its work in instant messaging and presence enriched Mobile Web 2.0 technologies.

Founded in April 2003 by Pascal Lorne and Francois Colon, Miyowa develops rich media mobile applications for mobile operators and handset makers. These solutions allow for premium service offerings over carrier data plans and devices, without entering restrictive relationships with social networks and IM providers.

Miyowa has also developed a communications protocol through an extension of the IMPS standard. According to the company, the IMPS extension delivers increased responsiveness and reaction by mobile applications resulting in bandwidth reduction by 50 to 80 percent on the operators network, increased handset battery life by nearly two times, and support for mobile Web 2.0 features such as avatars, social networking and advertising. The new funding brings the company's total financing to date to $12.7 million. The funding round was participated in by Techfund, who funded Miyowa's first round of financing in September 2006, and Credit Agricole Private Equity, a new investor.

Miyowa is expanding its operations into the U.S. and Asia by opening offices in Cupertino, California and Singapore.

Friendster Announces Mobile Text Alerts

Friendster, the 7th largest website in the world and the #1 social network in Asia, is launching a mobile text alert service that lets users subscribe to receive text message alerts for friend requests, new messages, comments, bulletins and more. When such activity takes place within their network of friends on Friendster, they will receive an SMS text message on their mobile phone. Users will also be able to share and communicate on Friendster by sending a text message to Friendster to update content on their profile, such as shoutouts and bulletins, send messages, and reply to friend requests. Friendster claims 52 million users in Asia and overe 70 million users worldwide. The text alerts will be offered first in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

JDSU's PathTrak Identifies MPEG Impairments, Provides DOCSIS 3.0 Measurements

JDSU released a new PathTrak Video Monitoring (PVM) System and a new PathTrak RPM3000 System module aimed at ensuring high-quality delivery of video, VoIP and high-speed data services over cable networks.

The PVM System helps operators segment forward path video problems by proactively monitoring for RF and MPEG impairments. In addition, PVM software provides network engineers and technicians with web-based access to both live and historical RF and MPEG performance measurements throughout the network, speeding troubleshooting time.

The new PathTrak Return Path Monitoring System module, the RPM3000, expands visibility into upstream digital network performance and provides proactive DOCSIS 3.0 measurement and certification capabilities, including analysis of live spectrum, modulation error rate (MER) and quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM).

Chrysler to Offer W-Fi "Hot-spot" Capabilities in Some Vehicles

Chrysler plans to bundle various in-vehicle consumer electronics under one umbrella name - "uconnect." The function of the feature is directly in the name - uconnect phone, uconnect tunes, uconnect gps, uconnect studios and uconnect web.

  • uconnect phone -- uses Bluetooth to provide voice-controlled wireless communication between the occupants' compatible mobile phones and the vehicle's onboard receiver. Ahands-free system automatically downloads up to 1,000 phone book entries from supported phones. The system also recognizes three languages, and is capable of learning. Voice commands can manage onboard phone book entries, select radio stations and access voice mail. Voice memos can be recorded using the microphone that's integrated within the rearview mirror. Three memos of up to thirty seconds each can be stored in the system. An iPod interface will be offered on certain cars.

  • uconnect tunes - a 30GB hard drive is provided for ripping up to 6,700 songs from CD or USB memory devices in compressed format (either MP3, AAC or WMA file formats). Movies can be displayed on the screen for entertaining passengers when the vehicle is in Park.

  • uconnect gps -- combines the features of uconnect phone and uconnect tunes with navigation and real-time traffic. The system includes an integrated voice recognition system and touch screen for easy operation. The voice recognition system also recognizes more than 100,000 words and can input addresses, which allows the customer to enter destinations while the vehicle is in motion.

  • uconnect studios -- offers SIRIUS Backseat TV, featuring three channels of family TV programming, and optional SIRIUS Satellite Radio, with more than 130 channels of the best music, entertainment and information across the U.S.

  • uconnect web -- the system will provide high-speed data transfer and flexibility, combining WiFi and cellular connectivity. The system transforms the vehicle into a "hot spot" to deliver the Internet directly to the vehicle, for instant access to Web sites, e-mail, personalized music, online gaming, photo albums, etc.

ARRIS & Cisco Collaborate on Multi Wavelength Standardization

ARRIS and Cisco unveiled a joint proposal for the technical criteria supporting multi-wavelength optical networks.

The companies said their joint proposal would help enable expanded optical transport capacity for existing HFC networks or within Greenfield deployments.

"This collaboration demonstrates the industry coming together to work toward a common goal of standardization. By identifying the limitations and common solutions for multi-wavelength transmission, we are improving cost efficiencies and paving the way for interoperability," said Mark Palazzo, vice president, general manager, Cisco Access Networks. "With so many parts involved, standardization helps us achieve commonality, fueling the continued growth and evolution of the industry."

Microsoft to Acquire MobiComp for Mobile Personal Data Protection

Microsoft agreed to acquire MobiComp, a Portuguese software company that helped pioneer technologies allowing the backup and restoration of mobile data and mobile posting of social content to Web sites such as Facebook. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Microsoft said the acquisition would extend its vision to provide compelling experiences that span work and play across mobile phones, the Web and PCs. Terms of the planned acquisition are not being disclosed.

MobiComp's mobile services include MobileKeeper Backup & Restore, MobileKeeper Sharing & Communities, and Active mTicker. These services help mobile operators and people around the world back up personal content stored on a phone, publish updates to online communities, and get entertainment and news content delivered to phones. Its customer list includes 11 mobile operators worldwide.

Microsoft noted that fifty handset makers build on the Windows Mobile platform, and 160 mobile operators in 55 countries carry Windows Mobile phones. The services of Windows Live, including one of the largest free instant messaging services and blogging services, run on every major mobile operating system worldwide.

Cox Doubles Internet Speeds for Northern Virginia Customers

Cox Communications is doubling the download speed of its most popular residential Internet service (Preferred) in Northern Virginia and increasing the speed of its Premier service by thirty-three percent. Cox's Preferred service tier now offers 10 Mbps/2 Mbps performance, while its Premier tier offers 20 Mbps/3 Mbps.

Customers will also experience faster uploads thanks to the addition of PowerBoost for uploads to the Preferred and Premier packages. With PowerBoost, Preferred customers can experience speeds up to 12.5 Mbps down/2.5 Mbps up and Premier customers can go up to 25 Mbps down/3.5 Mbps up.

ST-NXP Wireless Joint Venture Moves Ahead

NXP -- the independent semiconductor company founded by Philips -- and STMicroelectronics announced the management team that will run their new joint venture. The new company, which will be named ST-NXP Wireless, combines the mobile and wireless businesses of STMicroelectronics and NXP, which together generated $3 billion USD in revenue in 2007. The new company will begin operations in a strong position to meet customer needs in 2G, 2.5G, 3G, multimedia, connectivity and all future wireless technologies. ST-NXP Wireless is expected to enter the market in number three position once full closure of the joint venture takes place, as scheduled, in the third quarter of 2008.

The management team of ST-NXP Wireless will be headed by Alain Dutheil, presently chief operating officer (COO) of STMicroelectronics,. As CEO of ST-NXP Wireless, he will focus exclusively on the new joint venture.

The joint-venture will combine key design, sales and marketing, and back-end manufacturing assets from both parent companies into a streamlined organization that will rely on its parent companies and foundries for wafer fabrication services. ST-NXP Wireless will be headquartered in Switzerland.

Time Warner Telecom Changes Name to tw telecom

Time Warner Telecom will officially change its name to tw telecom effective July 1, 2008.

"tw telecom is familiar; it is stable; it is consistent; it is clear, concise and focused -- it is who we are," said Larissa Herda, tw telecom Chairman, CEO and President.

As Time Warner Telecom, the company reported 2007 revenue of $1.084 billion and modified EBITDA of $339 million. The company reported $282.6 million in first quarter revenue while employing 2,883, as of Mar. 31, 2008.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Telstra Calls for Regulatory Change in Australia

Telstra is calling for a new regulatory framework to underpin the rollout of a new open access, high-speed national broadband network (NBN). Specifically, Telstra believes new legislation is needed to lock in an agreement on the terms of core wholesale access to the NBN to provide certainty for investors and wholesale customers and attract the multi-billion dollar investment required.

"If this network is going to be built, the builder needs up-front certainty that its investment will not be undermined or given away by regulatory changes once a decision to invest is made," said Kate McKenzie, Group Managing Director of Telstra Wholesale.

Telstra's legislative recommendations include:

  • Maintaining the integrity of the network, which means the Government should not try to slice up the network and give different elements to different providers and the Government should not force the network operator to accommodate old and new technologies, which are not compatible;

  • Given the critical importance of telecommunications to public safety and national security, bidders must be able to demonstrate how their plan will provide for emergency services, particularly during the migration phase;

  • Unnecessary regulation aimed at legacy networks should be removed;

  • Land access arrangements need to be streamlined to facilitate the deployment of more than 50,000 nodes; and

  • Important consumer protection and social policy objectives must be properly identified and funded.

NTT to Implement 30 GB Upload Cap for Fiber Access Users

NTT Communications (NTT Com) will begin restricting network access by individual customers who upload more than 30 gigabytes (GB) of data per day. NTT Com said it will introduce the new bandwidth cap on August 1 "to help ensure stable, trouble-free access to the Internet for all customers." The company noted that although it continues to expand its OCN optical network to accommodate increasing data traffic, a small number of individual users have been monopolizing substantial network resources by uploading massive amounts of data, which can slow the speed of the network and lower communication quality for other users.

NTT Com will begin to implement the policy by first notifying any individual that exceeds the 30 GB daily limit. The user will be asked to observe the limit. If they do not, OCN will suspend their access to the network and possibly terminate their service contract.

Downlink traffic, such as browsing, receiving e-mails and data downloading, will not be subject to the 30GB limitation.
  • In May, NTT reported that the number of FLET'S Hikari optical access subscriptions reached 8.78 million as of March 31, 2008, up from 3.2 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of ADSL subscribers fell to 4.6 million from 5.3 million a year earlier. Likewise, the number of conventional telephone lines fell to 39.2 million from 43.3 million last year.

BSkyB Signs Wholesale Voice Agreement with BT

BT will provide BSkyB with a wholesale voice service to support call services to its 1.1 million Sky Talk customers. The 3-year deal will support the further expansion of Sky Talk, the UK's fastest growing residential telephony service. Over the next few months, Sky Talk customers and their calls will be migrated to the BT Wholesale platform.http://www.btplc.com

Riverbed and OPNET Partner

OPNET Technologiesis working with Riverbed Technology on advanced capabilities for real-time monitoring and troubleshooting of wide area network (WAN) applications accelerated by Riverbed's Steelhead appliances. Specifically, OPNET's ACE solutions for application performance management will provide enhanced visibility into applications accelerated by Riverbed. The combination of OPNET's intelligent analytics and reporting with Riverbed WDS will allow customers to maximize bandwidth allocation, plan server/storage deployments and ensure SLAs are met.

The two companies also said they are engaging in joint sales and marketing efforts.http://www.riverbed.com

Euro Disney Upgrades 15,000 phone lines to VoIP

Euro Disney Associés, which operates the Disneyland Resort Paris, has selected Orange Business Services to replace its entire PABX infrastructure, which represents a total of 15,000 phone lines. This will involve the financing, integration, operation and maintenance of the infrastructure by a dedicated team over a 6-year period. Orange has been one of Euro Disney Associés S.C.A.'s twelve strategic partners since 1992.

Motorola Expands its Fiber Access Portfolio

At this week's SCTE's Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, Motorola is expanding its Motorola's hybrid fiber coaxial (HFC) platform with new "Fiber Deep" capabilities New capabilities enable cable operators (MSOs) to convert amplifiers to optical nodes for direct migration to fiber. This approach allows operators to reduce the outage time and installation costs that impact video, voice and data service delivery during a typical fiber migration. The portfolio also takes a high-density approach by doubling the receiver density at the fiber optic headend, saving valuable space for the operators as they add equipment to segment node serving areas.

To compliment Motorola's enhanced coarse wave division multiplexing (E-CWDM) solution, a 1GHz dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) narrowcast transmitter adds significant wavelength capability to segment the optical node serving areas over existing fiber resources.

Motorola's Broadband Access Network new product portfolio includes:

  • MBN100 1 GHz MiniBridger Optical Node, BLN100 1 GHz Optical Node -- allow existing Motorola MB and BLE amplifiers to be easily converted to optical nodes.

  • MBV3 1GHz MiniBridger Amplifier -- equipped with three active RF outputs and backward compatible to all existing MiniBridger housings.

  • The SG4-ITU-TX DWDM Transmitter -- adds up to 40 wavelength return capability to Motorola's SG4000 scalable optical node platform.

  • SG4 DOCSIS Transponder -- provides standards based status monitoring and Ethernet capability to the SG4000 platform.

  • The GX2-RX200BX4 High Density Receiver -- doubles the receiver density for Motorola's widely deployed GX2 fiber optic headend platform.

  • The GX2-DM1000B10 1 GHz DWDM Narrowcast Transmitter -- provides up to 40 wavelengths for additional VOD, Internet and telephony services.

Ericsson Extends IT Outsourcing Contracts with HP, IBM

Ericsson has signed a five-year IT outsourcing contract with HP including infrastructure services, application hosting platform, helpdesk, desktop support and output services for Ericsson. The new contract is an extension of a contract signed in 2003 and which ends in fall 2008.

Carl-Magnus Månsson, CIO and Head of Group IT at Ericsson, says: "We gain significant benefits by outsourcing our IT operations. It helps lower overall IT spending, reduces total cost of ownership and makes our IS/IT structure more efficient. It also ensures we are flexible and able to adapt to changing IT demands. Our supplier has demonstrated it is the best-in-class provider and we are pleased to enter this long-term partnership."

Separately, Ericsson signed a five-year IT outsourcing contract with IBM including application maintenance and development for Ericsson.
The new contract is also an extension of a contract signed in 2003. The responsibility for Ericsson's internal, global, corporate voice and data network is not included in the outsourcing contract. This will be managed by Ericsson's business unit Global Services, who will also handle delivery of some business-critical applications and infrastructure services from its own Global Service Delivery Center.