Tuesday, July 15, 2008

ITU Forms New Group to Focus on Telecom Impact on Climate Change

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has set up a new group to work on standards related to the impact of information and communication technologies (ICT) on climate change.

The new group will focus in particular on the reduction of ICT emissions and how ICTs can assist in cutting emissions in other industry sectors such as energy, transportation and buildings.

The ITU estimates that the ICT sector produces between two to three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. But ICTs are also seen as a part of the solution to the climate change challenge.

A key objective of the Focus Group will be to develop internationally agreed methodologies to describe and estimate the impact of ICTs on climate change, both directly and through their application in other industry sectors. Estimates vary widely on how much networking could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Work will start immediately using electronic means, and the group will meet physically for the first time at ITU headquarters in Geneva on 1-3 September 2008 under the chairmanship of David Faulkner of BT.http://www.itu.int/themes/climate/

Femto Forum Adopts TR-069 CPE WAN Management

The Femto Forum has agreed to implement the Broadband Forum's TR-069 "CPE WAN Management Protocol", a worldwide standard for real-time management of customer premises equipment (CPE), as the basis for the management protocol for femtocells. An estimated 30 million devices currently use TR-069, which was first defined in 2004 by The DSL Forum (predecessor to the Broadband Forum).

The two bodies have been working together over recent months to ensure the protocol is able to meet the criteria of femtocells. The TR-069 protocol standardizes secure CPE auto-configuration practices and incorporates other CPE management functions, including diagnostics and troubleshooting, performance monitoring, and software/image management, into a common framework. Some Femto Forum members have already adopted the protocol into their existing solutions but today's agreement means it will become the femtocell industry's first de facto management standard.http://www.femtoforum.org

Sumitomo Selects Cavium's Dual-Core OCTEON Processor

Sumitomo Electric Networks is using Cavium Networks' OCTEON CN5020 processor for its flagship home gateway for FTTH deployments. The FTTH gateways must be capable of processing high data rates along with the associated IPv6 and PPPoE protocol processing. In addition, the home gateways need to process triple play traffic with stringent QoS requirements, support IPsec and WiFi functionality along with carrier class Voice over IP and IPTV services. The OCTEON CN50XX family offers the choice of 1 or 2 custom 64-bit MIPS core devices, operating at 300-700MHz frequencies with multiple software and pin compatible processor options.

Telefónica O2 Germany Selects NSN for Network Upgrades

Telefónica O2 Germany has selected Nokia Siemens Networks for a modernization problem aimed at reducing its overall network power consumption. In a separate deal, O2 has chosen Nokia Siemens Networks to carry out implementation services at more than 200 radio access sites. It is the first customer win for Nokia Siemens Networks service subsidiary in Germany, established in January 2008.

Under a wide-ranging 3-year contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will supply O2 Germany with its energy-efficient radio access solution, bringing at the same time environmental and operational benefits to the operator.

Nokia Siemens Networks also will upgrade the 3G network with the High-speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) software functionality to cover all Germany. Nokia Siemens Networks is supplying its EDGE software upgrade to bring high-speed data capability to the GSM network as well.

Under the separate service contract, Nokia Siemens Networks Services Deutschland will provide O2 in Germany with on demand system repair and maintenance services at all operator's locations to ensure undisturbed and quality network operation, while at the same providing operational benefits to O2. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Comstar to Use Nortel for Mobile WiMAX in Moscow

Russia's Comstar has selected Nortel equipment to develop its mobile WiMAX network in Moscow. A total of 160 base stations are expected to be built in Moscow by the end of 2008. The overall investments in the project are expected to amount to approximately US$ 20 million in 2008.

Comstar said construction of the IEEE 802.16e standard network (2.5-2.7 GHz range) has already started and is expected to be completed by the end of 2008, with Kvazar-Micro (now renamed as SITRONICS Information Technologies) acting as the equipment supplier and Intellect-Telecom as the project designer.http://www.nortel.comhttp://www.comstar-uts.com

Convergys to Acquire Intervoice for $335 Million

Convergys agreed to acquire Intervoice, Inc. (NASDAQ: INTV) Intervoice for $335 million in cash or $8.25 per share, representing a premium of 24 percent to Intervoice's closing stock price on July 15.

Intervoice supplies software and professional services that enable voice portal, IP contact center, hosted and mobile messaging, and self-service applications. The company claims more than 5,000 customers in 80 countries, including financial and healthcare institutions, telecommunications companies, utilities, and governments.

Convergys plans to integrate Intervoice's complementary speech automation, Web self-care, and mobile applications. This will enable Convergys to offer an array of automated and live agent services.

Intervoice revenues for its fiscal year ended February 28, 2008, were $202.4 million. More than fifty percent of these revenues are maintenance and hosted services revenues that are predictable and recurring.http://www.convergys.comhttp://www.intervoice.com

Procera Employs RMI's Multi-core, Multi-threaded Processor

Procera Networks has selected RMI Corp's Multi-core Multi-threaded XLR Processor for its PacketLogic PL10000, a DPI appliance with up to 80Gbps of throughput. Procera's PacketLogic PL10000, which is purpose-built with Tier-1 broadband deployments in mind, leverages RMI's 8-core, 32-threaded XLR732 Processor. The XLR732 processor consists of an set of XLR cores enabling up to 32 threads, or virtual CPUs (vCPUs), in a single chip. The XLR's enhanced MIPS64 compatible cores implement fine-grained, 4-way multithreading combined with a multi-level hierarchy of caches, autonomous accelerators, and point-to-point interconnects for data and message transfers. The interconnects' full-speed operation augment application scalability and closely integrate the high performance main memory controllers, level-2 caches, 10Gbps accelerated security operations, and accelerated networking interfaces to deliver a processing solution running at frequencies of 800MHz -- 1.2GHz optimized for maximum throughput and workload efficiency.http://www.RMICorp.comhttp://www.proceranetworks.com/pl1000024470

EchoStar XI Successfully Launched into Orbit

Sea Launch has successfully launched the EchoStar XI broadcast satellite from its ocean-based platform, marking its fourth successful mission of 2008 and its third mission for DISH Network. The satellite is based on Space Systems/Loral (SS/L)'s 1300 spacecraft bus. It is designed for an orbital service life of 15 years, with 20kW of power to support the expansion of DISH Network's capacity and capabilities to customers throughout the United States.
  • In March 2008, SES AMERICOM confirmed that its AMC-14 satellite failed to reach its intended orbit following its launch on board a Russian Proton Breeze-M launch vehicle on March 15. An anomaly during the second burn of the fourth stage of the rocket resulted in the satellite being placed short of the planned geostationary transfer orbit. The spacecraft is entirely contracted by EchoStar.

Aircell Selects LTE as 4G Wireless Standard for Inflight Connectivity

Aircell will base its 4G mobile broadband network on Long Term Evolution (LTE). Specifically, Aircell said it intends to deploy LTE to enable the next generation ultra-high bandwidth mobile services such as hi-definition and interactive TV and multi- player immersive gaming for airline passengers.

"The 4G market is still evolving but one thing is for sure, passengers will want the same mobile broadband services in the air that they have on the ground," stated Joe Cruz, CTO, Aircell. "Aircell's choice of LTE ensures that our network will continue to support the services customers demand today and in the future. With LTE, Aircell's Air-to-Ground (ATG) Inflight Internet technology is future-proofed."

Using an exclusive FCC frequency license, CDMA Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Rev A protocol and network optimization and acceleration technology, Aircell is able to deliver an effective data rate of more than 12 Mbps peak to aircraft equipped with its Gogo service. The company expects that by the end of 2009, further advances in will enable it to deliver a raw data rate of up to 22.7 Mbps to aircraft. By the beginning of 2011, Aircell expects to deploy its 4G LTE network, which will enable a throughput of up to 300 Mbps to aircraft.http://www.aircell.com
  • Earlier this month, Aircell closed on the third tranche of a package of equity and debt financing now totaling $265 million. The latest step is the closing of a $35 million senior secured term loan facility arranged by Scotia Capital, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, which rounds out the prior two-stage equity investment led by Ripplewood Holdings, a major private equity group, Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and other investment entities associated with investor/entrepreneur Oakleigh Thorne.

  • In April 2008, Aircell received two critical FAA approvals, clearing the way to launch its in-flight mobile broadband service over the U.S. Aircell is now the first and only communications operator to receive approvals from the FAA to provide air-to-ground (ATG) in-flight mobile broadband for U.S. domestic flights. The two FAA approvals received include a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), permitting installation and operation of the company's ATG network on commercially operated Boeing 767-200 aircraft.

  • In January 2008, Aircell completed its nationwide wireless Air-To-Ground (ATG) network. As part of this build-out, the company constructed cell sites throughout the country. Placement of cell sites ranged from windy, snow topped mountain peaks at 12,000 feet to remote desert terrain below sea level. The company said network completion was accomplished far ahead of time requirements set by the company's FCC license agreement. The first site was activated on August 25, 2007 and the final site, which finalized the nationwide network, went live on January 29th, just five months later.

Verizon Extends FiOS Services in Florida

Verizon has expanded the availability of its FiOS network, making the service available to nearly 800,000 homes and businesses in six West Central Florida counties. Verizon currently offers FiOS Internet and FiOS TV services in dozens of communities in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties, and the company continues to upgrade its network to all fiber in these areashttp://www.verizon.com

Sunrise Adds VDSL2 Testing to Its Home Test Toolkit

Sunrise Telecom has added VDSL2 test capabilities to its Home Test Toolkit (HTT). Previously available only in North America, the test system is now available worldwide. The HTT allows technicians to test key interfaces, signals, and functions at the customer location during installation. The HTT's next step logic guides technicians through the installation process, and indicates probable locations and causes of problems, speeding both installation and trouble-shooting.http://www.sunrisetelecom.com/

Motorola Introduces Wireless Ethernet Bridge for 5.4/5.8 GHz bands

Motorola introduced a new Wireless Ethernet Bridge -- the PTP 300 Series -- that provides a point-to-point bridge over a line-of-sight distance of up to 155 miles, with near-line-of-sight and non-line-of-sight (NLOS) ranges of up to 25 miles and 6 miles respectively. Operating in the 5.4 and 5.8 GHz bands at data rates up to 25 Mbps, the PTP 300, which is part of Motorola's Wireless Broadband portfolio, also boasts the highest spectral efficiency and system gain for radios in its class, according to the company. In addition, customer and channel partners can use the new next-generation radio frequency (RF) planning tool -- PTP LINKPlanner -- to determine link viability and optimization in challenging environments prior to purchase.

Motorola also noted that the combination of Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) and intelligent Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (i-OFDM) enable the PTP 300 to support backhaul from multiple access points to a point-of-presence and building-to-building and campus connectivity.http://www.motorola.com

Verizon Offers Multi-Platform Disney Channel Games Experience

Verizon is collaborating with Disney on offering an on-screen and online Disney Channel Games experience, with special TV previews and online multi-player gaming action, to its FiOS TV, FiOS Internet and High Speed Internet customers .

"Disney Channel Games" will present comedic relay races, grand-scale obstacle courses and entertaining challenges in five special half-hour telecasts. Exclusive short-form content, including one-on-one interviews with the players and behind-the-scenes material, is now available first to FiOS TV subscribers via video on demand (VOD). Additionally, FiOS TV customers will be able to view the first episode of the Disney Channel Games, also on VOD, on July 20. The broadcast premiere is on July 27. These early looks are free for FiOS TV customers.

In addition, Verizon broadband subscribers will have the ability to play the Disney Channel Games Arena Challenge, a new game experience available through Disney Connection, a premium broadband entertainment destination for kids and families.http://www.verizon.com

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sprint Implements 40 Gbps IP-over-DWDM using Cisco/Ciena

Sprint is deploying 40 Gbps network trunks in its Tier 1 IP backbone using IP-over-DWDM (IPoDWDM) technology.

The implementation of IPoDWDM drives efficiencies by eliminating client connections between the router and DWDM system and increasing bandwidth four times by transmitting 40-Gbps across an existing 10-Gbps DWDM system. The companies said the integration of router and DWDM transponder components reduces network complexity and increases the scalability and resiliency of the backbone. IPoDWDM can also position Sprint to rapidly move to higher data rates (e.g., 100-Gbps) without overhauling the network infrastructure.

Earlier this year, Sprint completed final testing of the 40-Gbps IPoDWDM technology and enabled their first production 40-Gbps circuit. The implementation uses the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System with built-in transponders along with Ciena's CoreStream Agility platform to transport the wavelength across the fiber-optic network. To date, several 40-Gbps circuits have been deployed, and those are carrying commercial IP-based services.

Sprint, which is deploying the Cisco CRS-1 Carrier Routing System across its global network, conducted the first 40-Gbps technology trial with live-production traffic in 2004. Sprint began deploying them in its IP core network in 2006. Today, Sprint CRS-1 routers are deployed in more than 25 U.S. cities.

Sprint began deploying Ciena's CoreStream platform in its Tier 1 IP backbone in 2000 and currently has more than 1,000 nodes deployed.http://www.cisco.comhttp://www.sprint.com

Cisco Enhances IP-over-DWDM, Doubling Reach for 40 Gbps

Cisco announced a set of enhancements to its IP-over-DWDM technology (IPoDWDM), which is available on its core Carrier Routing System (CRS-1). These include new modules that can provide data throughput at 40 Gbps across existing 10 Gbps networks. The solution is positioned as a core transport architecture for handling the surge of traffic from video over the Internet.

The list of enhancements includes:

  • Doubling the reach of the Cisco CRS-1 40-Gbps IPoDWDM to 2,000 kilometers without regeneration. The new 40Gbps physical line module interface supports deployments in virtually any geographic area.

  • Extending the power of Cisco IPoDWDM solution to the network's edge on the Cisco XR 12000 and 12000 Series Routers with a new 10 Gigabit Ethernet shared port adapter that enables instant bandwidth up to 10 Gbps over 2,000 kilometers.

  • Reducing provisioning on the Cisco ONS 15454 platform with an omni directional and colorless mesh reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM). This will decrease truck rolls and lower the requirements for power, space and cooling by more than 50 percent.

  • Increasing resiliency with proactive protection feature that guards video and mission-critical data against fiber cuts by resetting failover benchmarks to 15 milliseconds (ms), three times faster than the industry standard of 50 ms.

  • Enhancing the ability for service providers to deploy with separate data and transport departments with virtual transponder - now transport departments can directly manage the optics integrated into the router.

Alcatel-Lucent Endorses MPLS-Transport Standardization Efforts

Alcatel-Lucent announced its commitment and support for MPLS-Transport Profile (MPLS-TP), building on the standardization efforts by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Enhancing MPLS with transport operational practices - including operation, administration and maintenance (OAM) and survivability - is expected to help carriers scale their transport networks while adding performance monitoring and multi-domain capabilities.

Alcatel-Lucent said it is committed to enabling seamless transformation of transport networks to converged MPLS-based packet transport. It has already added MPLS techniques to transport networks through its 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS) portfolio -- where the current version of MPLS-Transport, the ITU-T T-MPLS, is already implemented and under test with several service providers -- and its 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS) portfolio, which is deployed worldwide in carrier networks using MPLS pseudowires. This new effort brings these two related approaches together and delivers one unified set of MPLS-based packet transport standards.

"Alcatel-Lucent believes MPLS is the optimal technology to enable scalable Ethernet transport in carrier networks and has taken a leadership role in implementing MPLS-based packet transport" said Michel Rahier, President of Alcatel-Lucent's carrier activities. "We are fully committed to MPLS and MPLS-TP and will continue to develop a full range of products based on common specifications, working closely with service providers and other vendors to ensure interoperability."http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/ipnews
  • In June, Alcatel-Lucent unveiled a network architecture that integrates Provider Backbone Bridging (PBB) and Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS) technologies to increase the scale and reach of Carrier Ethernet VPN services. Whereas many vendors support PBB on Ethernet Switches and others support MPLS on routers, Alcatel-Lucent's architecture combines the scalability benefits of PBB and the resiliency, traffic engineering and convergence benefits of VPLS and MPLS. The integrated PBB and VPLS solution is especially aimed at enhancing network and service scalability - both in terms of reach and MAC addressing.

BridgeWave Debuts 60 GHz Point-to-Point Wireless Bridge

BridgeWave Communications, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, announced the availability of its SLE100 point-to-point bridge that delivers highly reliable, low latency, wire-speed 100 Mbps full-duplex, half-mile (800-meter) connectivity. The product leverages BridgeWave's existing 60 GHz radios and is priced at under $10,000 per link.

Enterprises can take advantage of unlicensed spectrum (U.S. and Canada) to bridge their LANs. The narrow beam width of the antenna enables highly secure transmission. Additional security features are available through a FIPS certified 256-bit AES Encryption option.

BridgeWave said the combination of its 60 GHz radio architecture and its set of network management features enables "point-and-play" operation with no RF configuration required. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) simplifies installation using existing CAT5 cable infrastructure.http://www.bridgewave.com
  • In June 2007, BridgeWave Communications, a start-up based in Santa Clara, California, raised $10 million in Series 4 funding for its gigabit wireless solutions. The funding round was co-led by Intel Capital and a new investor, Core Capital, with participation from prior round venture capital firms Cipio Partners, SDL Ventures, and Merifin Capital. BridgeWave's Gigabit Ethernet wireless technology is aimed at future backhaul transport capacity. BridgeWave utilizes the upper millimeter-wave radio spectrum in the recently-allocated 60-90 GHz range, enabling the multi-gigabit per second wireless connectivity. The company also features proprietary "AdaptRate" technology and Forward Error Correction capabilities optimized for longer distances.

  • BridgeWave Communications is headed by Amir Makleff, who co-founded the company in 1999. Previously Amir served as COO and Senior VP of Engineering at Netro for three years. Previously to Netro, he was General Manager of Engineering and Marketing at Telco Systems and Nortel.

Infineon's DSL CPE Silicon Adds Concurrent Erasure Decoding and Retransmission for IPTV

Infineon Technologies has enhanced its portfolio of ADSL2+ and VDSL2 solutions for customer premise equipment (CPE) with an IPTV over DSL feature package with capabilities such as predictive error decoding (Erasure Decoding) and Gamma Layer Retransmission.

Erasure Decoding improves impulse noise immunity with no changes to the carrier DSLAM, and can achieve up to two times better error protection than a non-erasure decoding capable CPE in real world deployment scenarios. The Gamma Layer Retransmission mechanism utilizes an intelligent traffic shaping and discrimination algorithm, in conjunction with central office (CO) equipment.

Infineon said the enhancements enable the optimization of real time services, such as IPTV, VoIP or Internet gaming with settings for minimum delay and maximum error protection to guarantee the best possible user experience. Furthermore an embedded Packet Processing Engine enables wire speed routing throughput for all packet sizes. This Smart Acceleration technology boosts routing performance while reducing the workload of the CPU core in the Amazon-SE and Danube Infineon chipsets, and also in future CPE generation devices.

In addition to implementing the IPTV over DSL feature package, Infineon continues an extensive interoperability test program both in its own facilities and with independent test labs (ITL). Recently, KTL Laboratories, a worldwide accredited ITL, validated the interoperability of the Amazon-SE chip in compliance with the Broadband Forum's TR-067 and TR-100 requirements.

Infineon noted that it is the cumulative worldwide market share leader for xDSL CPE devices with more than 110 million units shipped since 2003.http://www.infineon.com
  • In 2007, Infineon Technologies acquire Texas Instruments' DSL Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) business, adding to its own line of DSL silicon products.