Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bookham Supplies Full-Band Tunable Pluggable Transceiver to Ciena

Bookham has begun shipping its TL8000 full-band tunable pluggable transceiver to Ciena.

Ciena plans to use this 10 Gbps module across its high-end switching and transmission systems including its CoreDirector Multiservice Switch, CoreStream Agility Optical Transport System and CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform for both core and metro network applications.

The LambdaFLEX TL8000 module utilizes fully Telcordia qualified Bookham components, including the Bookham tunable transmitter with indium phosphide Mach Zehnder (InP MZ) modulator and DSDBR wideband tunable laser. The TL8000 also includes the Bookham 10 Gbps Avalanche Photo Diode (APD) Receiver combined with cutting edge electronic dispersion compensation (EDC), which provides enhanced performance in low OSNR environments, and makes the product suitable for use across both long haul and metro links.

Verizon Business Consolidates Global Billing for Customers

Verizon Business has begun providing a Global Billing Report for its multinational customers, proving a more convenient way to view, monitor and analyze their expenses. The report is available through the Verizon Enterprise Center (VEC), to view worldwide communications expenses online in both the original billed currency and another currency selected by the customer.

Verizon Inks Content Deal with NBC Universal

Verizon and NBC Universal have reached a content agreement that includes NBC Universal's coverage of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing on all three Verizon platforms - TV, broadband and wireless. The content ranges from schedules and medal standings to news, photos and highlights. Also, in addition to Verizon's current carriage of NBC HD and Universal HD, Verizon will launch an high-definition (HD) offering with the addition of four new HD networks: Bravo HD, CNBC+ HD, USA Network HD and SCI FI HD. FiOS TV customers will see these four HD channels launch during the next few months, region by region.

GSM Tests Voice Calls based on the SIP-I Protocol

The GSM Association (GSMA), which represents the world's 750 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries, has completed trials of voice calls based on the SIP-I protocol between core networks supplied by Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks.

SIP-I, or the Session Initiation Protocol with encapsulated ISUP, is a protocol used to create, modify, and terminate communication sessions based on ISUP using SIP and IP networks. Services using SIP-I include voice, video telephony, fax and data. In this trial, SIP-I was used to control the transmission of voice calls from a conventional circuit-switched mobile network on to a IP-based backbone network and then back onto a conventional circuit-switched mobile network.

The SIP-I trials, which were hosted by TeliaSonera in their Finnish and Swedish laboratories, form part of the GSMA's IPX initiative to develop a private global Internet Protocol (IP) backbone designed specifically to provide guaranteed levels of quality of service and security to customers of mobile operators and other service providers.

The GSMA recommends that mobile operators adopt SIP-I, which is widely used by fixed network operators and transit networks, to control the transmission of packet-based voice between mobile networks. Using SIP-I will typically involve less transcoding and provide a higher-quality of service than other protocols, while making it easier for mobile operators to achieve end-to-end call control and upgrade their networks in future.

"SIP-I is the protocol of choice for mobile and fixed operators alike and is an important element of the GSMA's strategy to help mobile operators migrate their networks to IP," said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer of the GSMA. "With the help of Ericsson, Nokia Siemens Networks and TeliaSonera, we have demonstrated that SIP-I can work well across networks supplied by different vendors."

The GSMA trials were the first to test the SIP-I interoperability of Nokia Siemens Networks and Ericsson mobile softswitches, which connect calls from one device to another. The GSMA plans to conduct further trials to advance the level of inter-operability of SIP-I.

Nokia Siemens Networks Revenues Rise 18% to EUR 4.1 billion

Nokia reported Q2 net sales of EUR 13.2 billion, up 4% year on year and up 4 % sequentially (up 11% and 7% at constant currency). The company's diluted EPS came in at EUR 0.36, up 13% year on year, excluding special items. Nokia operating margin was 14.7%, up from 11.1% in Q2 2007 and flat sequentially, excluding special items.

Nokia estimates that the number of mobile device shipped across the entire industry in Q2 reached 303 million units, up 15% year on year and up 3% sequentially. Nokia mobile device volumes reached 122 million units in the quarter, up 21% year on year and up 6% sequentially. Mobile device shipments are expected to rise in Q3. Nokia now expects industry mobile device volumes in 2008 to grow 10% or more from the approximately 1.14 billion units Nokia estimated for 2007. This is an update to Nokia's earlier estimation that industry mobile device volumes would grow approximately 10% in 2008.

Some highlights from the quarter:

  • Devices & Services net sales totaled EUR 9.1 billion, down 1% year on year and down 2% sequentially (up 6% and 1% at constant currency). Devices & Services operating margin was 20.1%, up from 19.4% in Q2 2007 and down sequentially from 21.2%, excluding special items.

  • Nokia Siemens Networks net sales were EUR 4.1 billion, up 18% year on year and up 20% sequentially (up 26% and 23% at constant currency). Nokia Siemens Networks operating margin was 3.8%, excluding special items, and 6.7%, excluding special items and purchase price accounting related items arising from the formation of Nokia Siemens Networks.

    Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks continue to expect the mobile infrastructure and fixed infrastructure and related services market to be flat in Euro terms in 2008, compared to 2007.

  • Services and software net sales of EUR 119 million, up 42% sequentially.

  • Nokia's second quarter 2008 reported operating profit decreased 38% to EUR 1.5 billion (including the EUR 460 million negative impact of special items), compared with EUR 2.4 billion in the second quarter 2007 (including the EUR 966 million net positive impact of special items).

  • Nokia operating cash flow of EUR 1.5 billion.

Southeast Alaska Gets Undersea Fiber Cable

GCI, the largest telecommunications company in Alaska, has begun laying a new undersea fiber cable in south eastern Alaska. For residents in Ketchikan, Wrangell, Petersburg, Angoon and Sitka this means high-speed connections for Internet, phone and video. These communities are currently served through microwave and satellite networks. The $33 million project will connect five more communities to the Alaska United West line that currently connects Alaska to the Lower 48. GCI expects the project to be complete by November.

Juniper Marks 10th Anniversary of JUNOS Software

Juniper Networks marked the 10th anniversary of its JUNOS software. The company noted that it has consistently designed, developed and delivered new releases of JUNOS software on a time-tested quarterly release cycle to address the evolving high-performance networking requirements of more than 30,000 service provider, enterprise and public sector customers around the world.

PMC-Sierra's Q2 Revenue Rises 12% Sequentially, 34% YoY

PMC-Sierra reported Q2 revenue of $139.8 million, an increase of 33.6% compared with the second quarter of 2007 and 11.8% higher than the $125.0 million in the first quarter of 2008. Net income in the second quarter of 2008 on a GAAP basis was $137.2 million (GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.61) compared with a GAAP net loss in the first quarter of 2008 of $22.7 million (GAAP basic and diluted loss per share of $0.10). Non-GAAP net income in the second quarter of 2008 was $29.7 million (non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.13) compared with non-GAAP net income of $23.5 million (non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of $0.11) in the first quarter of 2008.

Non-GAAP net income in the second quarter of 2008 excludes $124.3 million related to an adjustment to the accrual for unrecognized tax benefits. During the second quarter, the company reached a settlement on several ongoing foreign tax matters related to prior years for amounts less than had been accrued as unrecognized tax benefits.

"In the second quarter, we experienced strong demand for our fiber to the home products in Asia as well as growth in our wireline infrastructure products," said Greg Lang, president and chief executive officer of PMC-Sierra. "We are very focused on product execution in the second half of the year to further penetrate the enterprise storage and communications markets."

One Minute Video: What is Unified Communications?

One Minute Video presented by Tom Flanagan, Texas Instruments -- What is UC?

Jargon Buster

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.

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.

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.

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.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.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.com

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.
  • 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 areas

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.