Thursday, October 2, 2008

Freescale Sharpens its Focus -- Considers Sales of Cellular Chipset Business

Freescale Semiconductor will sharpen its strategic focus on automotive and networking markets, where it is a leading supplier of automotive microcontrollers, communication processors and radio frequency (RF) integrated circuits (ICs) technology. It will also increase its efforts and investments in the industrial and consumer markets that utilize Freescale's microcontrollers, microprocessors, application-specific processors, analog, power and sensor ICs.

Freescale also said it will explore strategic options for its cellular handset chipset products business. The company intends to complete a sale, joint venture agreement or other transformation in the coming months. The company's cellular handset products business includes baseband processors, RF transceivers, power management/audio, software and platforms for the cellular handset market.

The company also announced it has updated its arrangement with Motorola whereby Motorola agreed to provide certain consideration in exchange for eliminating their remaining minimum purchase commitments.

Verizon Hosts Forum on Network Specifications

Verizon is preparing to host its 14th Annual Forum on Network Hardware Specifications, Standards and Testing this week in Orlando, Florida.

This year, new "topologies," or network design parameters, will be among the central topics of discussion. New network designs must reflect the growing use of fiber optics and other systems in delivering nontraditional services like video and multimedia content over transformed networks.

"Verizon is focused on the energy efficiency, service quality, reliability and environmental impact of the networks we build and rebuild, so we take communications with our suppliers about the performance we expect of them and their equipment very seriously," said Chuck Graff, conference founder and director of NEBS compliance and quality assurance for Verizon. "This year, 250 participants from nine countries, representing more than 80 manufacturers and testing labs, will meet and commit to working with us to more quickly deploy the highest-quality, most efficient gear possible."

Deutsche Telekom Cites Concern over Data Theft

Deutsche Telekom acknowledged an incident involving the theft of 17 million mobile telephone numbers.

The incident of data theft dates back to 2006 and has the attention of the public prosecutors' office. According to the magazine Der Spiegel, a storage device with 17 million mobile telephone data records is in the hands of unknown parties. The data relate to both prepay and postpay customers. Apart from names, addresses and cell phone numbers, the data, in some cases, also include the date of birth or e-mail addresses. The records do not contain bank details, credit card numbers or call data. Deutsche Telekom has no evidence to confirm that the records have led to harassment of users in 2006 or subsequent years, or that they have otherwise been misused by unauthorized parties.

Deutsche Telekom said it reported the theft to the responsible public prosecutors' office in the spring of 2006. Within the scope of their investigations, the public prosecutors' office was able to recover storage media. Extensive research conducted over several months on the Internet and in data trading places could not reveal any clues indicating that the data had been offered or disseminated on the black market. Owing to this, Deutsche Telekom assumed that there would be no dissemination of the data. However, Der Spiegel was apparently able to access the data in question via third parties.

"We are very concerned by the fact that the incident from 2006 is relevant once again. Until now, we were under the assumption that the data in question had been recovered completely as part of the investigations of the public prosecutors' office and were safe," said Philipp Humm, Managing Director at T-Mobile Deutschland. "Notwithstanding the fact that the culprits have been at work with a tremendous criminal potential, we earnestly regret to say that we have not been able to protect our customer data in line with our standards."

BT launches Etherflow Ethernet Business Service

BT officially launched "Etherflow" -- an Ethernet-based business connectivity service offering scaleable bandwidth and purchasable a month at a time. The service runs over BT's 21st Century Network (21CN).

At launch, Etherflow offers speeds from 10 Mbps to 1 Gbps to customers within reach of 106 core and access nodes that cover all the major business centres across the UK. By March 2009, the range of speeds will have been extended to range from 2 Mbps to1 Gbps and the number access nodes will have been increased to over 600. By the end of 2009, it is expected that the service will be available from 1,000 21CN access nodes in the UK. BT also has plans to roll out Etherflow internationally from 2009 onwards.

With Etherflow, customers can choose from standard or premium traffic classes depending on the needs of their applications and can configure the service themselves using an online self-service portal.

Royston Hoggarth, CEO BT Global Services UK, said: "Our customers are demanding faster and cheaper Ethernet services with the performance and functionality to meet all their networked IT services needs. We have been providing Ethernet services for more than 17 years, supporting an installed base of more than 33,000 connections and employ experts who play leading roles in the development of Ethernet standards.

Alcatel-Lucent Develops More Efficient Distribution Models for Utilities

Alcatel-Lucent is working with a number of major energy suppliers on delivering smart grids -- networks that provide enhanced visibility of energy flows, more granular control of energy, pro-active real-time monitoring and enabling rapid and accurate reaction to disruption of supply when it occurs. At the Next Generation Utilities conference, which took place last week in Evian, France, Alcatel-Lucent said networking technology could help energy utilities better manage the supply and demand of energy.

Francois Loubry, Vice President of Energy in Alcatel-Lucent's Services business, told the conference that the move to a distributed generation of supply was being encouraged by increased regulatory emphasis for renewable energy. Changing patterns in energy demand also are fostering the movement.

To deliver more accurate data on consumption and supply, efficient IT systems and communications are now priorities for energy suppliers. Alcatel-Lucent has already engaged with a number of major suppliers in creating smart grids.

TI Introduces RF range extender for 2.4-GHz Low-power Networks

Texas Instruments introduced a radio frequency (RF) range extender for 2.4-GHz wireless applications, such as ZigBee networks, wireless sensor networks and industrial, consumer and audio equipment. The CC2590 extends range up to eight times the line-of-sight by integrating a power amplifier for improved typical output power of +12 dBm and a low-noise amplifier for improved receiver sensitivity of +6 dB.

In addition to a power amplifier and low-noise amplifier, the CC2590 integrates switches, RF-matching, inductors and balun. Suggested resale pricing starts at $2.25 in 1,000-piece quantities.

ITALTEL Launches New Suite of Service Enablers

At last week's Broadband Forum in Brussels, Italtel introduced new Service Enablers that allow mash up of information and data retrieved from different networks for creation of brand new services or enhancement of emerging services based on presence and group management functionalities.

The new Service Enablers Suite, which includes the Italtel Presence Server, Italtel Group and List Management Service Enabler, and the Italtel Aggregation Proxy, provide a unified service layer . This builds on "The Service Box" concept, which Italtel introduced last year at BBWF Europe 2007.

  • Italtel Presence Server (i-PS) -- the enabler responsible for managing real-time information regarding user availability, capability, and willingness to communicate. It aggregates presence information from a broad range of sources, including devices, network elements and applications, as well as external presence providers.

  • Italtel Group and List Management Service Enabler (i-GLM) -- the enabler responsible for storing, maintaining and managing group information (such as contact lists, group lists and access lists) in a central (network-based) location. Group information, represented through XML documents, can be reused and shared across multiple applications and services.

  • Italtel Aggregation Proxy (i-AP) -- the front-end for accessing enabler's specific and shared XDMS over http based interfaces; it provides authentication and TLS support for the XDM clients accessing XDM servers.

Italtel said its strategy aims at creating a unified service platform capable of supporting and optimizing management and delivery of telephone services and innovative multimedia services, suitable for all types of users.

"The convergence of Telco and IT is radically reshaping business models and competitive borders, creating a continually-changing scenario for both products and services," said Franco Serio, CTO at Italtel. "Italtel's strategy in the Service Layer enables full and seamless Telco/IT/Internet convergence and adoption of open business models in the telecom. The key benefits deriving from the adoption of this new business and architectural model are: greater coherence in networks
architecture, optimization and integration; possibility to handle in an easier way the complexity of service creation, orchestration and deployment; greater efficiency and efficacy in service creation and deployment."

TIA Urges FCC to Ensure New Rules Allow Advanced Cordless Phones to Operate

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) has called upon the FCC to amend frequency rules so that advanced cordless phones can continue to operate in the AWS H Block after the FCC adopts rules for this spectrum.

The TIA argues that a change in Part 15 frequency limits is required so that cordless phones may continue to operate if the FCC changes H Block rules as it currently proposes. Cordless phones and other Unlicensed Personal Communications Services (UPCS) devices currently operate in a designated band (the UPCS band) with regulatory flexibility so that new cordless technologies can be advanced. However, TIA made clear, the FCC's proposed H Block rules will render cordless phones in the UPCS Band inoperable without changing frequency rules for UPCS devices. The FCC should, TIA argued, eliminate the threshold requirement associated with the "least interfered-channel rule" in Part 15, and reduce the minimum number of channels to be monitored under the least interfered-channel rules from 40 to 20.

U.S. Bailout Bill Extends R&D Credits

The financial bailout bill passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Bush last week (H.R. 1424 - Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008) includes retroactive extension of a two-year extension of the R&D Credit through the end of 2009. The package included an increase in the Alternative Simplified Credit from 12% to 14% beginning in 2009.

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) hailed the inclusion of this provision, which had been sought by many companies in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry.

"We will continue to work next year toward a permanent R&D Credit," said TIA Vice President for Government Affairs Danielle Coffey, "but TIA is pleased that the Congress has acted to reinstate the credit for the entirety of 2008 and through 2009 with an expanded Alternative Simplified Credit limit."

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Huawei Debuts 3G/2G Software Defined Radio (SDR) Base Station

Huawei Technologies introduced a 3G / 2G Software Defined Radio (SDR) Single RAN base station. The product was developed in close cooperation with technologists from Vodafone who are exploring how to enhance the customer experience in a more cost-effective and energy efficient way. The development is one of the first products from Huawei and Vodafone's Radio Mobile Innovation Centre based in Madrid, Spain.

Using Huawei's latest Remote Radio Unit, Huawei's Single RAN solution aims to provide greater cost efficiencies for operators in the areas of power consumption, transmission expense, footprint and maintenance costs when compared with traditional BTS solutions.

The design promises CAPEX and OPEX savings because carriers would only need to deploy a single Radio Access Network base station, compared to the costs involved with two independent 2G and 3G networks. Huawei says its Single RAN Solution is also capable of seamlessly migrating to LTE.

Huawei Introduces 1.28T OTN Optical Transport, 10 Gbps PONs

At this week's Broadband World Forum Europe in Brussels, Huawei Technologies introduced a number of optical transport products and extended its IPTIME (IP Transport Infrastructure for Multi-play Experience) solution Product introductions include the new 1.28T OTN OptiX OSN 8800, OptiX OSN 1800 and 10G GPON prototype systems.

The OptiX OSN 8800 is a 1.128 Tbps optical switch that integrates 40G/100G, ROADM, OTN Switch, ASON/GMPLS. It can provide high bandwidth transport and grooming capabilities.

The OptiX OSN 1800 system supports full service access from 2M to 10G, simplifying and unifying the multiple carrier edge networks in order to effectively reduce TCO.

Huawei's 10G GPON system is compliant with FSAN NGA and has a data rate of 10 Gbps downstream and 2.5 Gbps upstream. It coexists with current GPON and is compatible with current 2.5G optical distribution networks and platforms. The 10G GPON realizes smooth migration from current GPON and fully guarantees investment made in legacy networks through providing four times the bandwidth.

Additionally, Huawei has also extended its IPTIME solutions from mobile transport solutions to the industry's first FMC-oriented unified bearer solutions. Huawei's IPTIME solutions now provide access to both ultra broadband and 2G/3G, and support the clock synchronization of transmission, thus enabling the end--to-end provision of mobile and broadband services.

Panama's Digicel Deploys GSM/EDGE with Ericsson

Ericsson has signed a sole-supplier agreement with Digicel Group for the nationwide deployment of a GSM/EDGE network in Panama. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will be sole supplier of a GSM/EDGE network including radio access network, Mobile Softswitch Solution, mobile backhaul solution with optical and microwave products and Convergent Charging and Billing solution. Ericsson will also be responsible for network deployment, systems integration, and learning services. Deployment has already started.

Ericsson is now supplying mobile systems to Digicel in 24 countries across the Caribbean and Central America, including: Jamaica, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Bermudas, Turks and Caicos, Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent & Grenadines, Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, French West Indies, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Suriname, El Salvador, Honduras - and now Panama.

Matisse Networks Adds to Executive Team

Matisse Networks, a start-up specializing in optical burst switching (OBS) technology, announced that Craig Easley and Hank Zoeller have joined its executive management team.

Craig Easley joins Matisse as the Vice President of Marketing with global responsibility for both marketing communications and product management. Easley previously worked at Bay Networks, Nortel Networks, Extreme Networks and most recently Actelis Networks. He has served five terms on the Metro Ethernet Forum's (MEF) board of directors.

Hank Zoeller joins Matisse as VP of Operations. Zoeller previously worked at Nellcor, Molecular Devices, Network Appliance, and Cacheflow. Most recently he co-founded Cardiva Medical, Inc. and served as Vice President of Operations working cross functionally to transition new innovative solutions from R&D projects into viable commercially available products.

Aktino Expands Sales Team for EMEA

Aktino, a supplier of Carrier Ethernet and broadband services over bonded copper, has retained members of the same sales team previously responsible for Worldwide Packets' presence in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The team of experienced sales directors and sales engineers is led by Andy Charalambous, the former international vice president at Worldwide Packets when it was bought by Ciena in March 2008. With him on the team are Marco Berkheij and Dolf Godlieb.

Aktino has been recently building a presence in Europe, and its bonded copper systems have been in trials at three Tier 1 carries there. With the addition of this team, the company is now placing as much emphasis on the global market as it does in North America.

Aktino systems can provide up to 100 Mbps of bandwidth over existing copper infrastructure to a distance of 12,000 feet (3.7 km) from the central office, with fiber-like reliability. This enables symmetric or asymmetric Ethernet services. The reach can also be doubled using the company's latest repeater solutions.

Verizon Business Examines the Problem of Data-Breaches

Enterprises should assess their security strategies knowing that the challenges differ significantly by industry and that a one-size-fits-all approach is rarely effective, according to a newly released study from Verizon Business.
The study is based on the 2008 Verizon Business Data Breach Investigations Report, issued in June. This report analyzed breaches spanning four years and more than 500 forensic investigations involving 230 million compromised records including three of the five largest breaches ever reported.

Some key findings:

Financial Services

  • Financial services face a greater risk from insiders, whereas partners represent the chief source of risk for other industries analyzed.

  • A blend of attack types is used against financial services, with deceit and misuse as the most common attacks.

  • On average, attacks take longer and tend to be more sophisticated. Discovery often takes weeks, although financial services organizations generally learn of breaches more quickly than other types of organizations.

  • Relative to other industries, financial organizations demonstrated a higher level of asset awareness. Breaches associated with unknown or lost systems, data, connections and privileges occurred far less frequently.

High-Tech Services

  • The picture in high-tech services is complex. More than any other industry, errors were a contributing factor and attacks were fairly sophisticated. Though presumably tech-savvy, high-tech organizations had a difficult time keeping track of information assets and system configurations.

  • Malicious insiders are a big issue. Insider misuse, which refers to using granted resources or privileges, or both, for any unauthorized purpose, is much higher in high-tech. Such behavior is inherently difficult to control in a culture where workers often have high levels of access to many systems.

  • Hacking is significant. Tech firms tend to do a better job on basic system and application configurations, forcing attackers to rely on vulnerabilities to compromise systems. A consistent and comprehensive approach to patch deployment is often lacking.

  • Attacking Web applications represents the most common method of intrusion. Additionally, the percentage of breaches involving intellectual property is higher in the high-tech community.

  • Retail

    • Retail represents the largest portion of the overall cases analyzed.

    • Many attacks exploit remote access connections, but Web applications are also frequently targeted. Attacks on wireless networks are growing and are significantly higher than in any other industry.

    • Simple attacks are prevalent, but a considerable number of more difficult attacks were employed against retail establishments.

    • Retail is highly reliant on third-parties to discover breaches. Typically, discovery happens more quickly than in food and beverage but lags behind both the finance and high-tech industries.

    • Overall, attacks against this industry are largely opportunistic, seeking quick payloads of data that can easily be used for fraudulent purposes.

    Food and Beverage

    • Most breaches originate from external sources but leverage a partner's trusted remote access connection as the point of entry into online repositories of payment card data.

    • These attacks rely on poor security configurations rather than application or software vulnerabilities, are quickly executed and are highly repeatable.

    • Many attacks exploited point-of-sale systems that criminals use to stage additional attacks and spread malware (corrupt software) throughout food and beverage chain establishments.

    • It takes food and beverage organizations a considerable amount of time to learn of a breach. When they do, the discovery is almost always made by a third party.

    FCC Appoints Jon Peha as Chief Technologist

    Dr. Jon M. Peha has been named Chief Technologist of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), where he will serve as a senior advisor on communications technology in the FCC's Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis.

    Currently, Dr. Peha is a Professor in the Departments of Engineering and Public Policy, and Electrical & Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He also serves as the Associate Director of the Center for Wireless and Broadband Networking at CMU. Prior to joining CMU's Department of Engineering and Public Policy, Dr. Peha served as the Chief Technical Officer of three high-tech start-ups and as a member of the technical staff at SRI
    International, AT&T Bell Laboratories and Microsoft.

    Jungo Offers IPTV Fast Channel Switching Solution

    Jungo's "OpenRG" residential gateway software now supports a fast channel-switching feature. This solution enables service providers to enhance consumers' IPTV experience by improving the channel-switching performance of broadband access equipment.

    Jungo said subscribers expect switching between hundreds of channels to be smooth and fast. However, in reality, IPTV users often experience slow response times, and sub-standard picture quality, further affected by pixelation. These problems tend to increase in homes with multiple STBs. A channel switching delay of under two seconds is considered acceptable to users.

    Jungo's new technology removes channel-switching overheads by employing a mix of tactics, including an enhancement of the regular IGMP Leave and Fast-Leave operations - otherwise known as ‘Aggressive Leave' -- the monitoring of available resources such as bandwidth and virtual circuits (VCs), and intelligent bandwidth usage assumptions. The new solution from Jungo can be used on any off-the-shelf STB.

    Jungo Offers IPTV Fast Channel Switching Solution

    Jungo's "OpenRG" residential gateway software now supports a fast channel-switching feature. This solution enables service providers to enhance consumers' IPTV experience by improving the channel-switching performance of broadband access equipment.

    Jungo said subscribers expect switching between hundreds of channels to be smooth and fast. However, in reality, IPTV users often experience slow response times, and sub-standard picture quality, further affected by pixelation. These problems tend to increase in homes with multiple STBs. A channel switching delay of under two seconds is considered acceptable to users.

    Jungo's new technology removes channel-switching overheads by employing a mix of tactics, including an enhancement of the regular IGMP Leave and Fast-Leave operations - otherwise known as ‘Aggressive Leave' -- the monitoring of available resources such as bandwidth and virtual circuits (VCs), and intelligent bandwidth usage assumptions. The new solution from Jungo can be used on any off-the-shelf STB. Selects Sonus

    Sonus Networks has completed the first phase implementation of a next-generation network (NGN) deployment with The new all IP network at will deliver secure, advanced business communications services to small and medium businesses across the United States. is introducing a complete Sonus IP-based session control network as part of the company's business plan to become a nation-wide competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC). The first services on the Sonus-based network are already live, providing integrated access services in 300 metropolitan markets. The services include unlimited calling, Internet service and the capability to work with most enterprise phone systems at flat-rate price points. will deploy the complete, end-to-end Sonus solution, including the ASX Access Server, GSX9000 Media Gateway, PSX Call Routing Server, SGX Signaling Gateway, the NBS Network Border Switch as the Session border controller for IP Access and Trunking and the Sonus Insight Management System. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Ixia Offers 40 GE and 100 GE Testing Capability

    At this week's Broadband World Forum Europe in Brussels, Ixia is showing 40 GE and 100 GE testing technology. The Ixia 40 GE proof-of-concept demonstration includes an implementation of and testing facility for the 40/100 GE physical coding sublayer (PCS) layer approved as the baseline proposal by the IEEE P802.3ba task force, with its underlying multilane distribution (MLD) architecture. MLD enables network providers to bond multiple 10 GE or higher-speed lanes into a single logical 40/100 GE link. MLD provides a means of "striping" a 40 Gbps flow into multiple "virtual" lanes.

    Ixia said it plans to ship the industry's first 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) Development Accelerator System in mid November. The 100 GE Development Accelerator System a unique implementation for and testing of the 100 GE physical coding sublayer (PCS) layer approved as the baseline proposal in May 2008 by the IEEE 802.3ba task force, with the underlying multilane distribution (MLD) architecture.