Sunday, September 21, 2008

SiTime Introduces MEMS-based Clock Oscillator

SiTime, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, introduced a clock oscillator built using Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS)-based CMOS technology. The device uses a tiny mechanical resonator uses electrostatic forces to oscillate at any frequency from 1 MHz to 125 MHz..

SiTime cites several advantages for implementing clock oscillators using a MEMS device. The new SiT8002XT offers 10 times better reliability and shock resistance than quartz oscillators. When packaged in CMOS, the clock becomes virtually indestructible and is able to withstand up to 50,000 G-forces and an industrial temperature range.

The miniature device, which measures 3.5 mm by 3.0 mm with a typical height of 0.25mm, is aimed at high-volume portable electronics, such as high capacity SIM cards, smart cards, mobile phone system in package (SIP) modules, digital cameras, LCD TVs, media players, gaming solutions, hard disk drives and USB peripherals. The company estimates the market for such timing devices at $5 billion per year.

Samples of the SiT8002XT are available now.
  • SiTime is headed by Rajesh Vashist (CEO), who previously served as CEO and chairman of the board at Ikanos Communications. SiTime's executive team also includes Aaron Partridge (who previously coordinated the MEMS resonator research at Robert Bosch Research and Technology Center in Palo Alto), Markus Lutz (also previously with Bosch),
    Fari Assaderaghi (previously with Rambus and HP), Narayanan Bharath (previously with Ikanos), and Piyush Sevalia (previously with Ikanos).

Zain Raises US$4.49 billion for Mobile Network in Middle East

The Zain Group, which was originally established in 1983 in Kuwait as the region's first mobile operator, has raised an unprecedented US$4.49 billion (KWD1.2 billion) in capital to support its expansion across the Middle East and Africa. The number of subscribed shares exceeded 1.4 billion, bringing the total number of Zain shares to 4.28 billion with total shareholders' equity reaching US$6.42 billion. The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) through its local and international branches acted as the receiving bank for the capital increase.

Zain operates in the following countries: Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Chad, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Malawi, Madagascar, Niger, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. In Lebanon, the company manages the network on behalf of the government operating as mtc-touch. The company's mobile operations in Ghana will begin by the end of 2008.

In August, Zain launched services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. At launch date, Zain's coverage area reached 53% of the population in 36 major cities and 14 highways spanning over 4,000 kms. The remaining coverage area will be attained initially through a complimentary countrywide roaming service. Zain will introduce high-speed 3.5G broadband technology to approximately half of the Saudi population offering the latest 3.5G services that include television, video-calling, rich multimedia content and even faster internet access. Zain's network will be further expanded in stages to eventually cover the entire Kingdom.

Zain promotes cross-border communications across its networks at favorable rates free of high roaming charges.
  • For the first half of 2008, Zain Group recorded consolidated revenues of US$ 3.488 billion. The company's consolidated EBITDA reached US$ 1.305 billion. Zain consolidated net profits reached US$ 551.5 million. Year on year customer growth across the two continents where Zain operates was 58% with the Zain Group serving 50.74 million managed active customers at 30 June, 2008.

  • In January 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a contract valued at approximately US$1 billion to roll out a state-of--the-art greenfield mobile network in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on behalf of Zain

CoreOptics and ADVA Partner on MLSE-2

CoreOptics, which offers 40 Gbps and 10 Gbps optical networking subsystems, and ADVA Optical Networking announced joint development of the second generation of 10 Gbps Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation (MLSE-2) technology on ADVA Optical Networking's FSP 3000 WDM platform. The technology will enable transport of 10 Gbps signals on much longer uncompensated links to further maximize the benefits of ROADM-based installed networks. The joint work has resulted in an optical module based on MLSE-2 and ADVA Optical Networking's transmitter technology.http://www.advaoptical.com

Finisar Introduces Compact 40G Transponders

Finisar introduced an ultra-compact 40G transponder featuring the lowest power dissipation and smallest mechanical footprint in the industry. The client-side, MSA-compliant module features:

  • Support for OC-768, STM-256, G.709 and OTU3 optical networking standards;

  • OIF SFI-5 compliant electrical interface;

  • Built-In Mux/Demux functionality;

  • Non-Return to Zero (NRZ) transmission from 39.8 Gbps up to 44.5 Gbps;

  • Pin-for-pin compatibility with 40G 300-pin MSA standard modules.

BT Selects 2Wire Intelligent Gateways for Fiber Access

BT has begun deploying 2Wire HomePortal intelligent gateways to connect subscribers as part of its Next Generation Access (NGA) strategy. The 2Wire HomePortal 2701HGV is a TR-069 standard-compliant intelligent residential gateway that features simplified self-installation, an ADSL2+ modem, an Ethernet network interface, a wireless router for whole-home wireless coverage, support for VoIP, and a firewall.

Denmark's ELRO Deploys ECI Metro Core Ethernet Platform

ELRO Amba, a utility provider in Denmark, has selected ECI Telecom's SR9700 Series of Carrier Ethernet Switch Routers (CESR) to be deployed as part of its nationwide WiMAX network. The metro core platform will enable Elro to flexible bandwidth utilization, service customization, multiple connectivity, and high levels of QoS and availability. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Earlier this year, ECI Telecom unveiled its new Carrier Ethernet 9000 Family, encompassing Carrier Ethernet switch routers, aggregation switches and demarcation units for the metro core, metro access and customer premises. The platforms are designed to deliver high-densities of MEF-certified Ethernet & IP services, including E-Line, E-LAN, E-Tree, IP Multicast for IPTV delivery and IP VPNs. The new SR9700 model will leverage the company's modular IP/MPLS "ShadeTree" software (originally developed by Laurel Networks) and feature an industry leading density of 1,200 Gigabit Ethernet ports (full-speed) per rack. ECI is powering the SR9700 with a custom-developed programmable ASIC capable of delivering fine-grained QoS, comprehensive OAM and wire-speed performance. The platform scales to 100 Gbps per slot. In addition to a mix of 10/100/GE/10GE interfaces, the platform supports TDM/CES using MPLS. It also offers direct interfaces to the optical transport layer via WDM pluggable optics and built-in OTN (G.709) tunable laser. Two models are initially being introduced. The SR9710 is a 10-slot, 400 Gbps system, and the SR9705 is a 5-slot 200 Gbps system with full interchangeability of line cards between platforms.

Sandvine Confirms DPI Deployment for Comcast's "Fairshare"

Comcast has selected Sandvine's Congestion Management for Fairshare initiative. Comcast's selection of the solution was documented in certain recent filings made by Comcast with the Federal Communications Commission. Terms of the agreement have not yet been finalized but Sandvine anticipates that commercial deployment of the product will commence sometime in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008.
  • In August 2008, the FCC released its order requiring Comcast to end discriminatory network management practices. Specifically, the FCC is requiring Comcast within 30 days to disclose the details of their unreasonable network management practices, submit a compliance plan describing how it intends to stop these unreasonable management practices by the end of the year, and disclose to both the Commission and the public the details of the network management practices that it intends to deploy following termination of its current practices. The order is posted online.

    On August 1st, the FCC ruled that Comcast's management of its broadband Internet networks contravenes federal policies that protect the vibrant and open nature of the Internet. Specifically, the FCC concluded that by monitoring the content of its customers' traffic and selectively blocking certain peer-to-peer connections, Comcast unduly interfered with Internet users' right to access the lawful Internet content and to use the applications of their choice.

Calix Enables Extended Reach GPON, New ONTs

Calix introduced an Extended Reach GPON solution based on ITU-T standards that enables network operators to significantly increase their serving areas beyond the 20 km radius that had formerly limited the technology, without the expense of constructing and powering remote cabinets.

The extended reach is made possible by a new pluggable optical interface module (OIM) inserted into the existing optical line terminal (OLT) line cards on the Calix C7 Multiservice Access Platform (MSAP). The solution is supported by all Calix 700, 700G, and 700GX optical network terminals (ONTs).

Specifically, the new laser extends the reach of GPON from 20 km to 33 km, extending the service area addressable by a GPON OLT on the Calix C7 MSAP by 170%. The Calix Extended Reach GPON solution is available to order now.

Calix also introduced its 700GX family of optical network terminals (ONT), which support Active Ethernet standards in addition to the ITUT passive optical networking (GPON and BPON) standards. The new ONTs leverage Calix' auto detect technology, which enable network operators to deploy BPON or GPON over the same ONT. Calix has now extended this technology to add Active Ethernet support, which is gaining traction as a business service.

Key features of the new Calix 700GX ONTs include:

  • Autodetect technology, which allows providers to remotely provision and convert any subscriber from one technology standard to another without truck rolls or upgrades at the customer premises.

  • The 700GX ONTs can be used in conjunction with the Calix C7, E5400, and F5 platforms, or with all standards-based GE switches or routers.

  • Supports dedicated fiber access using Active Ethernet mode

  • When in Active Ethernet mode, the 700GX can reach subscribers up to 40 km distant, enabling service to hard-to-reach customers.

  • Service providers need to inventory only one ONT for all common standards: Active Ethernet, BPON, and GPON.

Extreme Packs Carrier Ethernet Density into BlackDiamond 20808

Extreme Networks unveiled its fifth-generation, BlackDiamond 20808 metro Ethernet transport switch, packing up to 2 Tbps of switching capacity in an 8-slot system.

The BlackDiamond 20808 switch offers 120 Gbps per slot, resulting in up to sixty-four (64) 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) ports per chassis and 192 10 GE ports per rack. The switch fabric provides capacity for future high density, line-rate 40 GE and 100 GE line-card upgrades. The design leverages fully distributed network processors that deliver line rate performance for a broad range of industry standard and emerging protocols.

In addition to metro-scale density, Extreme Networks said its BlackDiamond 20808 would break new ground in terms of total cost of ownership for metro Ethernet transport.

The company is offering a list price of under $5,800 per 10 GE port. As a Layer 2 metro solution, the BlackDiamond 20808 offers simple operation and management compared to router-based metro architectures. The BlackDiamond 20808 metro Ethernet transport solution will be available in December. List price for an entry level system is under U.S. $100,000.

Alcatel-Lucent Positions 7705 for Mobile Backhauling

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its 7705 SAR -- Fixed Form Factor (7705 SAR-F) IP/MPLS platform
designed for mobile backhaul applications. The new model builds on the company's 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR), which delivers IP/MPLS and pseudowire capabilities in an aggregation platform. It is primarily targeted at the transport needs of the evolving mobile radio access network (RAN). The new router allows service providers to scale aggregation bandwidth for legacy cell towers using T1/E1 leased circuits.

Features and functionality of the new single-rack unit 7705 SAR-F include: cost-effective scaling, resiliency/redundancy covering synchronization, uplinks and power feeds as well as extreme temperature hardened characteristics (-40º C to +65 º C).

The 7705 SAR-F offers port density of16 x T1/E1 plus 6x 10/100 and 2 GE ports in 1 RU. In addition, the 7705 SAR-F leverages the reliability of Alcatel-Lucent's SR OS software to support new advanced functionality, provide consistent end-to-end operations and network management.

Alcatel-Lucent also released version 1.1 of the 7705 SAR family software. Release 1.1 includes an end-to-end synchronous Ethernet capability, which is important as operators make the transition to Ethernet for mobile backhaul in order to fully exploit its cost and bandwidth efficiencies. The synchronous Ethernet features augment a range of end-to-end synchronization techniques. The new release also includes High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA) offload enhancements which enable cost-effective and flexible offload using GRE (Generic Routing Encapsulation), to complement existing support for MPLS.

Bell Labs' Gerard J. Foschini Awarded 2008 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal

Gerard J. Foschini, distinguished scientist and innovator at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs, has been awarded the 2008 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal during the IEEE Honors Ceremony in Quebec City, Canada. Foschini was recognized for his seminal contributions at Bell Labs to the science and technology of multiple-antenna wireless communications. His multiple antenna concepts have allowed for increased data transmission rates by orders of magnitude without increased power at the transmitter, or the increased cost of expanding bandwidth. His research discoveries are core components of many of today's current and emerging wireless communications standards including the Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) architecture in IEEE WiFi (802.11n) and WiMAX (802.16e) for wireless data communication, as well as 4G cellular standards including 3GPP and 3GPP2.

Motorola Wins End-to-End FTTH with Hotwire Communications

Hotwire Communications has selected Motorola's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH), MPEG-4 high definition (HD) encoder and IP set-top solutions for residential and commercial broadband services.

Specifically, Hotwire will deploy the field-proven Motorola AXS2200 optical line terminal (OLT) and Motorola ONT1400GT optical network terminal throughout its customer footprint. Hotwire will also deploy Motorola's SE5100 series MPEG-4 HD encoders as well as Motorola's VIP1200 and VIP1216 set-top boxes.

Hotwire provides advanced fiber optic services to communities in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. http://www.motorola.com

AT&T Enhances Enterprise Mobility Offerings

AT&T is expanding its delivery of mobile field service automation, sales force automation and information technology support applications using the Antenna Mobility Platform (AMP), which developed by Antenna Software, a leading provider of mobile enterprise technologies and solutions.

The new mobility services extend AT&T's efforts to deliver and support mobile applications to companies, both directly and by working with companies in industries that include manufacturing, financial services, consumer packaged goods, retail trade, construction, transportation, utilities, government, education and health care.

With AT&T Mobile Enterprise Applications, customers can host their application in an AT&T data center, providing on-demand access to applications, or they can run the applications behind their own firewall on their own premises. Accessible through AT&T's leading smartphone devices, it supports three primary applications: sales force automation, which provides sales organizations with a complete view across all facets of a customer relationship; field force automation, which provides field service workers with bi-directional access to real-time customer, inventory and other job-related information; and IT support, which empowers IT technicians with real-time, virtually anywhere access to time sensitive, incident and problem management information.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Cisco to Acquire Jabber for Presence and Messaging Software

Cisco agreed to acquire Jabber, a start-up offering presence and messaging software. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Jabber provides a carrier-grade presence and messaging platform. Its technology leverages open standards to provide a highly scalable architecture that supports the aggregation of presence information across different devices, users and applications. The technology also enables collaboration across many different presence systems such as Microsoft Office Communications Server, IBM Sametime, AOL AIM, Google and Yahoo!. Jabber is based in Denver.

Cisco said the acquisition will enable it to embed presence and messaging services "in the network" and provide rich aggregation capabilities to users through both on-premise and on-demand solutions, across multiple platforms including Cisco WebEx Connect and Cisco Unified Communications.

NATO Deploys Cisco TelePresence in Afghanistan

NATO has deployed a telepresence system developed by Cisco and constructed by BT and General Dynamics C4 Systems to bring together Afghanistan-based servicemen and women and their relatives in Europe. Specifically, Cisco, BT and General Dynamics have provided a Cisco Telepresence unit at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE HQ) in Belgium and another unit more than 5,400 kilometers away in Kabul, Afghanistan. The first sessions were held earlier this month at the SHAPE HQ in Mons as part of Open Day, an event organized by NATO service provider NCSA (NATO Communications and Information Systems Services Agency), which also showcased innovations in cyber-security and military communications.

The unique setup uses Cisco TelePresence System CTS-1000 models capable of seating two participants inside robust shelters built to withstand extreme weather conditions and transportation over rough terrain. The Cisco TelePresence systems connect via X-band satellite, an industry first in the use of telepresence technology.

Latest FCC Data: 249.2 million U.S. Mobiles, 28.7 Million CLEC Lines

The FCC released its latest data (as of 31-Dec-2007) on local telephone service competition in the United States. Some key figures:

  • End-user customers obtained local telephone service by utilizing approximately 129.7 million incumbent LEC switched access lines, 28.7 million CLEC switched access lines, and 249.2 million mobile telephony service subscriptions at the end of December 2007.

  • Of the 28.7 million CLEC end-user switched access lines, 8.4 million lines were provided over coaxial cable connections. The 8.4 million lines represent about 72% of the 11.7 million end-user switched access lines that CLECs reported providing over their own local loop facilities.

  • Mobile telephony service providers reported 249.2 million subscribers at the end of December 2007, which is 19.6 million, or 9%, more than a year earlier. About 7% of these subscribers were billed by mobile telephony service resellers.

  • There was at least one CLEC serving customers in 81% of the nation's Zip Codes at the end of December 2007. About 97% of United States households resided in those Zip Codes. Moreover, multiple carriers reported providing local telephone service in the major population centers of the country.

  • The 28.7 million lines reported by CLECs is about 18% of the 158.4 million total end-user switched access lines reported for the end of December 2007.

  • CLECs reported 12.1 million (or 13%) of the 93.9 million lines that served residential end users and 16.7 million (or 26%) of the 64.6 million lines that served business, institutional, and government customers.

  • CLECs reported providing 41% of their end-user switched access lines over their own local loop facilities, 37% by using unbundled network elements (UNEs) that they leased from other carriers, and 22% through resale arrangements with unaffiliated carriers.

  • Incumbent LECs reported providing about 11% fewer UNE loops with switching (referred to as the UNE-Platform) to unaffiliated carriers at the end of December 2007 than they reported six months earlier (5.5 million compared to 6.2 million) and about 4% fewer UNE loops without switching (4.1 million compared to 4.3 million).

  • Incumbent LECs were the presubscribed interstate long distance carrier for 59% of the switched access lines they provided to end users, while CLECs were the interstate long distance carrier for 78% of their switched access lines.

EU Considers Strategies for Promoting Next Generation Access Networks

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the regulatory principles to be applied by EU Member States to Next Generation Access broadband networks (NGA). Specifically, the EC is seeking proposals on a common regulatory strategy best suited to promote the rollout of fiber-based access networks. There are 229 million copper lines in the EU, compared to slightly more than 1 million fiber connections. Analysts forecast a further EUR 20 billion spending on NGA by 2011.

The basic principle of the Commission's draft Recommendation is that national regulatory authorities should provide access to the networks of dominant operators at the lowest possible level. In particular, they should mandate access to the ducts of the dominant operators allowing competitors to roll out their own fiber. However, National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) should also impose further physical access obligations (access to unlit fiber) beyond access to ducts where ducts are not available or the population density is too low for a sustainable business model. Access to active elements such as "bitstream" shall be maintained provided lower level remedies do not sufficiently address distortions of competition.

The draft Recommendation provides also a common approach to ensure non-discriminatory access, as well as a methodology for calculating a proper rate of return, including a risk premium. The Commission believes that for NGA, rates of return should be derived in the light of the risks associated with this kind of investment, bearing in mind that the nominal pre-tax weighted average cost of capital for fixed and mobile operators has been roughly 8 to 12% in recent years.

EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said: "The deployment of new fiber-networks will shape the competitive conditions of the future. We need an appropriate framework to give European companies fair access to the new networks. We want national rules that will not only encourage the necessary substantial investment in fibre investment but also strengthen broadband competition."

"For consumers, whether private or business, to benefit from the competitive provision of services over optical fibre, it is vital that the Commission provides the regulatory guidance the market needs", said Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms Commissioner. "We want to reduce the scope for divergences of regulatory approaches across Europe, in the interest of legal certainty. Uncoordinated or even contradictory action of national regulators as regards Next Generation Networks could seriously damage competition and undermine Europe's single market. We propose in particular that project-specific risk premiums should be applied, so that competition can flourish while those who invest are rewarded in line with the risks they have incurred."

The public consultation will be open until 14th November 2008. The Commission will then finalize the Recommendation in the light of comments received and formally adopt it in 2009.

DiVitas Cites Customer Traction for its Mobile UC Solution

DiVitas Networks, a start-up based in Mountain View, California, cited a number of customer wins for the latest software release of its DiVitas Mobile UC Solution. DiVitas mobilizes corporate voice and messaging (deskphone, voicemail, contacts, IM and Presence) for organizations by unifying these applications onto smartphones. The DiVitas Mobile UC solution can run on Wi-Fi networks, cellular networks or both. Some recent customers include:

  • Sawtel, a carrier that is using DiVitas as a new mobility component to enable a complete Unified Communications solution along with quality voice over WiFi (VoWiFi).

  • The 13th Judicial District Court in Albuquerque, which has begun mobile UC deployment to staff attorneys, probation officers and judges in lieu of high cost deskphones.

  • The University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Medical Center, which is using UC to provide healthcare staff continuous connectivity while on campus where WiFi coverage is spotty.

  • The County Government of Bernalillo County, New Mexico, which is using VoWiFi to significantly decrease mobile expenses. County workers obtain new assignments via mobile SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system while in the field.

  • New College Durham (United Kingdom), which is using UC to increase collaboration of its highly mobile staff at the lowest cost possible.

Recent improvements to the DiVitas client application include a new graphical user interface that is customizable, visual voice mail, improved voice quality and additional PBX features that have been extended over cellular. DiVitas now offers mid-call features over any network including cellular. Abbreviated Dialing, Call Transfer, Call Waiting, Call Hold/Resume, and Call Conferencing are all now supported over Cellular and WiFi.

Upcoming 802.11v Standard to Offer Energy Efficiency

The coming IEEE 802.11v standard will introduce new power savings features that will "green up" wireless LANs, according to Matthew Gast, Trapeze Networks' principal engineer, office of the CTO, and the chair of Wi-Fi Alliance Wireless Network Management and Security Technical task groups.

Trapeze Networks cited a number of energy efficiency measures in the upcoming standard, including:

  • Wireless Network Management Sleep Mode, a further extension to base 802.11 power savings that will allow for longer power-off times for 802.11 radios. It will be used in conjunction with new Traffic Filtering Service to enable access points to deliver only specified frame types.

  • "Wake on WLAN" capabilities that let network managers "wake up" wireless computers and other appliances.

  • Proxy ARP that will let an access point respond to ARP requests enabling stations to power down for longer periods.

  • TIM Broadcast that will distribute traffic indication maps so stations do not need to receive every beacon frame.

  • Flexible Broadcast / Multicast services that will send broadcast / multicast frames at the highest data rate for the group of receivers thereby reducing power-on time for radio interfaces and allow for higher data rates that improve performance of multicast applications.

The 802.11v standard is also expected to include station management features that will give network managers a much more detailed view of network performance and new location features that will offer more accuracy for services like RFID and emergency services.

Trapeze Networks said the 802.11v standard is expected to be finished in 2010.

Huawei Supplies Solar Base Station for Pakistan's Warid

Huawei Technologies Solar Powered Macro Base Station (BTS) for Pakistan's Warid Telecom.

The deployment is believed to be the first of its type in Pakistan. Huawei's environmentally-friendly Solar Powered Macro BTS allows the operator to extend its network reach into remote areas of the country where there is limited access to the electricity grid. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The non-hybrid site is 100% powered on solar energy, thereby reducing carbon dioxide emissions and noise pollution, both of which is harmful to the local environment. The solution also reduces pressure on Pakistan's overall energy supply which further benefits the environment.