Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Telstra Submits its NBN Proposal but Sees Regulatory Uncertainty

Telstra formally submitted its proposal to build an open access National Broadband Network (NBN) capable of delivering high-speed access to up to 90 per cent of Australians. Key elements of the proposal include:

  • Telstra would invest up to $5 billion of its own capital.

  • The Government would provide $4.7 billion in the form of a concessional loan.

  • Up to 90 percent of the population would be covered.

  • The network will be capable of providing downlink speeds between 25 Mbps and 50 Mbps in 65 percent to 75 percent of the footprint, with downlink speeds of between 12 Mbps and 20 Mbps in the remainder of the footprint.

  • The network would be designed to be upgradeable.

  • A wide range of services including IP telephony, high-speed internet, IPTV, video-conferencing and telemedicine would be supported.

  • A $29.95 per month entry level 1Mbps retail broadband pricing plan (four times faster than the existing plan at the same price) for customers with a Telstra fixed line telephone service would be available.

The NBN, which is essentially an upgrade of Telstra's fixed network, is described as one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Australia. It will be the world's largest fiber to the node networks in geographic terms, requiring some 4000 staff throughout the life of the project. Telstra said it is ready to begin the rollout as soon as possible across multiple locations in metropolitan and regional Australia. The company claims its rollout could be completed far quicker than any alternative.

Telstra also noted that the financial climate has changed dramatically since the RFP was issued in April, fundamentally altering assumptions on which earlier business cases were built. On this note, Telstra expressed concern over the lack of clarity around possible further separation of network elements. Telstra stated that such a separation would be extremely damaging for Telstra's shareholders, customers and the Australian telecommunications industry. Simply put, Telstra claims that with separation, the NBN simply cannot and will not be built, "There is no business case. The economics don't work. A separated network would be impossible to build or to maintain." Due to these uncertainties, Telstra has decided not to put forward a more fully detailed bid at this time.In early September, Stephen Conroy, Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, set 26-November-2008 as the closing date for the submission of National Broadband Network proposals.

The Government issued its Request for Proposals for the National Broadband Network on 11-April-2008. The closing time has been amended to account for time taken by the Government to necessarily work with carriers to ensure that proponents have access to information about existing networks and time to consider it. The intention is that this will help them prepare robust, competitive proposals.

Key provisions of this RFP issued in April include the ability to:

  • deliver minimum download speeds of 12 Mbps to 98% of Australian homes and businesses;

  • have the network rolled out and made operational progressively over five years using fibre-to-the-node or fibre-to-the-premises technology;

  • support high quality voice, data and video services including symmetric applications such as high-definition video-conferencing;

  • earn the Commonwealth a return on its investment;

  • facilitate competition in the telecommunications sector through open access arrangements that allow all service providers access to the network on equivalent terms; and

  • enable uniform and affordable retail prices to consumers, no matter where they live.

Viettel Telecom Selects NSN for Mobile Expansion

Viettel Telecom, one of Vietnam's leading mobile service providers, has selected Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Base Station for part of its network expansion across Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Viettel entered the market in 2004 and is now the fourth GSM provider in Vietnam.

Nokia Siemens Networks' relationship with Viettel Telecom started in 2007, when Viettel deployed the company's mobile softswitching solution. This is Nokia Siemens Networks' first GSM Base Station deal with Viettel. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.nsn.com

Monday, November 24, 2008

Interoute Deploys 60 Gbps Capacity in 48 Hours with Infinera

Interoute, which operates a pan-European fiber network, worked around the clock to replace a 1,200 km section on one of its largest customer's network that was experiencing rapid degradation. It took just 48 hours from "order to delivery" for Interoute to provide 60 Gbps of connectivity. Interoute's service provider customer had acquired another telecom operator which already owned a large international optical network. After the acquisition, the unprecedented daily volume of data and IP traffic now utilizing the route necessitated an immediate and substantial upgrade.

Interoute operates an Infinera optical network across that same route. The companies said new Infinera modules required for the additional 60 Gbps capacity arrived at the sites in a matter of hours, and the Infinera system took just minutes to bring up the capacity, test it to confirm it was running error-free, and begin carrying customer traffic. Most of the time required to complete the job was consumed in providing the additional connectivity from the customer's network to Interoute's Infinera network.

"Managing to activate 60 Gbps of bandwidth in less than 48 hours has made us extremely proud and emphasized again the first-rate quality of our network, and especially our Infinera optical network, as well as the total dedication of our people," said Interoute CEO Gareth Williams.http://www.interoute.comhttp://www.infinera.com

BSNL Selects Dilithium for Mobile Video Services

BSNL, India's largest telecommunications company, has selected Dilithium for the deployment of new mobile video & streaming services over 2G and 3G networks beginning in 2009. Dilithium has partnered with HCL Infosystems Ltd. to provide end to end delivery solutions for BSNL's live mobile video services. The solution includes the Dilithium DTG 3021 multimedia gateways and the DCA video streaming solution, enabling 2-way video calling and other advanced video services. Financial terms were not disclosed.http://www.dilithiumnetworks.com

Axis Introduces 3 New Network Cameras

Axis Communications introduced a series of small and smart network cameras designed for securing locations such as small businesses, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and residences.

All three models provide superior video quality at 30 frames per second in VGA resolution. Two of the models add the option of connecting over an IEEE 802.11g wireless interface with the built-in antenna. One of these additionally features a passive infrared (PIR) sensor for detecting movement, even in the dark, and a white LED light for illuminating the scene automatically at an event or when requested by the user. Other features include two-way audio support with an integrated microphone and speaker, allowing remote listening in on an area as well as communication with individuals directly or using uploaded or recorded audio clips.

All cameras in the AXIS M10 Series provide multiple, individually configurable, high-resolution video streams in H.264, Motion JPEG as well as MPEG-4 Part 2 at full frame rate. Using progressive scan technology, the cameras provide VGA images of moving objects without motion blur.http://www.axis.com

Sezmi Raises $33 Million for its TV 2.0 Service and STB

Sezmi, a start-up based in Belmont, California, secured $33 million in new venture funding for its personal TV system.

Sezmi is developing an alternative to the legacy TV experience with a line-up of content from traditional broadcast networks, cable and specialty networks, Internet video, pay-per-view movies, etc. The company says its goal is not only to enhance the on-demand experience, but to stand out from traditional television offerings with a highly personalized, intuitive user experience at an affordable cost. Sezmi is now in trials and will be commercially available to U.S. consumers through broadband providers and national retailers in 2009.

The new funding includes new investments from Advanced Equities, Inc. and others, and follow-on investments from previous investors: Morgenthaler Ventures, Omni Capital Group, TD Fund, and Legend Ventures.

"The demand from consumers for an affordable and personalized television experience continues to increase," said Phil Wiser, Sezmi's co-founder and president. "In fact, we hear from consumers every day that they are looking for an alternative to meet these needs and that they are eagerly awaiting Sezmi. It is very gratifying that our vision is validated not just by consumers, but also by the investment community."http://www.sezmi.com
  • In May 2008, Sezmi unveiled a new TV service that combines terrestrial digital broadcast television with existing broadband services to deliver video content to a customized set-top box. The system utilizes available capacity in existing digital television broadcast networks and creates a private, secure broadcast transmission for content. The Sezmi interface aims to provide a seamless integration of live, stored, on-demand and Internet video from different sources.

    Sezmi has also developed a smart antenna indoor reception system that makes both its private broadcast and existing terrestrial TV broadcasts accessible. The company said its network-attached reception system can be placed in any location in the home.

    Sezmi is seeking partnerships with broadcasters, broadband providers and content companies. It plans to commence technical trials in preparation for commercial launch across several major U.S. markets later this year.

  • In April 2008, Sezmi (formerly known as Building B) announced plans to co-locate its network operations center (NOC) within Harris Corporation's world-class NOC facility in Melbourne, Fla. in order to leverage Harris' expertise in digital asset management, content aggregation and its nationwide distribution network.

  • Sezmi is headed by Dr. Buno Pati (co-founder and CEO), who previously founded Numerical Technologies (acquired by Synopsys). Before co-founding Numerical, Dr. Pati served as assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Harvard University and a post-doctoral research associate at Stanford University.

Qwest Trims Broadband Prices -- DSL Starting at $14.99 a Month

Qwest Communications is trimming its broadband prices.

For new customers, Qwest Connect Silver High-Speed Internet service with connection speeds up to 1.5 Mbps is now being offered for $14.99 a month for a year (regularly priced at $39.99 a month) and Qwest Connect Platinum High-Speed Internet service with connection speeds up to 7 Mbps is priced at $24.99 a month for a year (regularly priced at $49.99 a month) to new customers.

Existing Qwest High-Speed Internet customers can upgrade their high-speed Internet service to Qwest Connect Platinum, Titanium or Quantum High-Speed Internet service with a 2-year commitment will receive 2 months of free service.

In addition, Verizon Wireless service can be added a Qwest Bundle. Customers who bundle all of their services -- including Qwest High-Speed Internet, DIRECTV service, Verizon Wireless, a Qwest home phone package and unlimited nationwide long distance -- can save more than $25 a month, or more than $300 each year with Qwest.http://www.qwest.com

Blue Coat Achieves Record Net Revenue

Blue Coat Systems reported total net revenue for its second quarter of fiscal 2009 (ended October 31, 2008) of $119.0 million, an increase of 62% compared to net revenue of $73.4 million in the same quarter last year, and an increase of 16% compared to net revenue of $102.5 million in the immediately preceding quarter. Excluding net revenue associated with the acquisition of Packeteer on June 6, 2008, net revenue for the second quarter of fiscal 2009 was $93.9 million, an increase of 28% compared to net revenue of $73.4 million in the same quarter last year, and an increase of 9% compared to net revenue of $86.4 million in the immediately preceding quarter.

On a GAAP basis, the company reported a net loss of $0.3 million, or ($0.01) per share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2009, compared to net income of $7.0 million, or $0.17 per diluted share, in the second quarter of fiscal 2008, and a net loss of $5.8 million, or ($0.15) per share, in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

"Despite a difficult economic environment, Blue Coat continued to execute its strategy during the second quarter, enabling us to once again report record net revenue," said Brian NeSmith, president and chief executive officer, Blue Coat Systems. "We have largely completed the integration of Packeteer, Inc., which we acquired in June, and recognized $25 million in net revenue from the acquired business in the second quarter. In addition, we achieved integration between our ProxySG appliances and the PacketShaper appliances we acquired from Packeteer."

For the third fiscal quarter ending January 31, 2009, in consideration of the current economic environment the company is currently planning net revenue in the range of $106.0 to $112.0 million.http://www.bluecoat.com

Telenor Pakistan selects NSN for Real Time Traffic Monitoring

Telenor Pakistan, which serves 18 million mobile users, has deployed Nokia Siemens Networks' NetAct Traffica real time customer traffic monitoring and analysis software. Telenor Pakistan has acquired the GPRS module of the solution for further enhancing the data service experience for its customers. The customer traffic monitoring and analysis software provides a detailed, real-time view to user activity and service usage throughout the network enabling the service provider to react to problems immediately. It can also give valuable insight into users' behavior.

Nokia Siemens Networks said its service assurance software will provide diagnostic services like information on service usage by data subscribers, time and area of service usage, problem identification and troubleshooting. This information will then be utilized to determine areas of improvement to ensure flawless services to the customers.http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Vietnam Mobile Telecom Selects Alcatel-Lucent

Vietnam Mobile Telecom Services Company has awarded a US$48 million contract to Alcatel-Lucent to expand and enhance the wireless communications services available through its Mobifone mobile network.

The contract calls for Alcatel-Lucent to deploy more than 1,400 multi-standard base stations GSM/EDGE latest technology to improve voice and data services over the Mobifone network and to extend coverage and capacity throughout northern Vietnam. This upgrade will enable Mobifone to offer an enriched mobile phone services portfolio that will include content services, air-provisioning and other advanced services by the end of 2009.

Alcatel-Lucent will provide full turn-key services for the implementation of this major network upgrade for Mobifone, scheduled for completion by the end of the first quarter of 2009. The services include project management, installation and deployment as well as radio network engineering services.http://www.alcatel-lucent.comhttp://www.mobifone.com.vn/

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Alcatel-Lucent Enhances its Corporate Communications Portfolio

Alcatel-Lucent announced a suite of enhancements for its portfolio of products for large enterprises, including new capabilities to scale to support 100,000 users and the ability to better integrate with key corporate applications.

Alcatel-Lucent's Corporate Communications offer includes voice, data, unified communications and contact center solutions whose enhancements enable large business customers to employ data virtualization, increased scalability and strategic centralization in the network to better address the challenges of globalization.

Key enhancements include:

  • Release 9.0 of the new Alcatel-Lucent OmniPCXprovides a secure, scalable, centralized architecture capable of serving 100,000 users. The system's Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) controller and expanded standards-based SIP trunking allows easier integration with new applications and SIP device management.

  • A new OmniSwitch 9000E platform is being introduced to serve locations requiring high capacity, scalability and virtualization with multi-virtual routing and forwarding, which delivers cost reductions through hardware consolidation and lower power consumption.

  • Release 5.1 of the Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Unified Communication Solution and OmniTouch 8600 My Instant Communicator now offer multimedia, multi-session collaboration, mobile device integration, and support for third-party applications such as Microsoft Office Communicator and IBM Sametime and Lotus Notes.

  • The Alcatel-Lucent OmniTouch Contact Center Premium and Standard Release 9.0 and the latest CC Teamer application help enterprises provide superior customer service.

  • Alcatel-Lucent solutions also encourage more effective knowledge sharing internally and with customers, partners and suppliers through open APIs and third-party integration, enabling improved productivity and cost reduction.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that it has added more than 5,000 new enterprise customers since the initial launch of its Corporate Communications Solutions offering nearly two years ago.


Orange Busines Partners with Microsoft on Unified Communications

Orange Business Services will make available as standard managed services the latest versions of the unified communication and collaboration offerings from Microsoft, including Microsoft Exchange Server 2007, Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, and supporting these services with ITIL standards-based service management.

Business Together with Microsoft is an innovative solution that integrates collaborative offers into a single user interface in order to improve team efficiency. Since its May 2007 launch, Business Together with Microsoft has been deployed to 150,000 seats.

Orange Business Services said it differentiates its offer by providing ITIL standards-based service management that achieves secure and reliable performance for an improved end-user experience and a 24/7 service desk to provide global support.http://www.orange.com

BelAir Debuts 802.11n Access Point for Service Providers

BelAir Networks introduced its BelAir20 Access Point (AP), a compact dual-radio, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi indoor AP designed to deliver centrally managed and hosted public or private Wi-Fi services in a variety of high density environments . Key features include:

  • Complements the company's portfolio of outdoor Wi-Fi nodes

  • Leverages the same BelAirOS operating system and BelView network management

  • Integrates with the service provider's back office to facilitate service provisioning and bundling, ease deployment and operation, and reduce network commissioning and upgrade costs

  • Provides wireless backhaul between APs.

The company said its hosted software based control lowers network CapEx by 30%.http://www.belairnetworks.com

Orange Adds Mobile TV to its Unik 3G UMA Service

Orange is preparing to launch high definition mobile TV for Unik, its 3G+ UMA platform. Customers in France will gain access to more than sixty high definition mobile TV channels (including twenty with unlimited access).

The video content will be deliver with though the 3G network and/or Wi-Fi network at home and in Orange Wi-Fi hotspots.

The service will be available on Orange's Unik using a new and exclusive handset from LG, the LG Secret KF757. The LG device will be the first UMA handset to include Orange TV Player, Orange's new mobile TV software that enables users to easily flick from one channel to another and to consult a guide to programmes showing on each channel.

With the Unik service, the network intelligently chooses the best connection available -- Orange Livebox, WiFi or 3G+ -- offering optimal TV quality more cost-effectively when in a WiFi environment.

Secret KF757 via the Orange TV Player software or the Orange World portal, and is already available on the Sony Ericsson G705u via the Orange World portal. Orange's existing Unik service currently has over 1 million customers in France. The offer is also available through Unifon in Poland, Unique in the UK and Unico in Spain.http://www.orange.com

BT Launches New Managed WAN Optimization Service

BT has launched a new fully managed wide area network (WAN) optimisation service that can accelerate the performance of applications between data centres, remote offices and mobile workers by 5 to 50 times and in some cases up to 100 times.

BT is also introducing a new applications performance monitoring service that allows IT directors to ensure that vital applications perform according to required service levels. By centrally installing a device in the data centre, it measures response times between user, server and application, providing accurate measures even for remote locations without the need for physical devices at each user location.

BT's applications performance monitoring is based on Compuware technology, while the new WAN optimization service is based on Riverbed technology.

"As enterprises look to be more efficient with fewer resources and finances, a managed service environment relieves them of the challenges surrounding the management of multiple vendors. The services we announce today are the latest additions to our Applications Assured Infrastructure (AAI) portfolio, which is a set of repeatable managed services that audit, monitor and optimise the performance of applications throughout their life cycle," stated Jean-Noel Moneton, vice president Network Services at BT.http://www.btplc.com

BT Openreach Cuts Ethernet Backhaul Prices by up to 65%

BT's Openreach division is cutting prices by up to 65% across a range of access and backhaul services. Specifically, effective immediately for new and existing connection orders, and from the 1st February 2009 for rentals, the price reductions will encompass most of Openreach's WES, WEES and BES products. Changes include:

  • BES 1Gb product connection reduced by up to 62% and rental by up to 31%.

  • WES/WEES 100Mb Local Access reduced to the same price as 10Mb Local Access for both connection and rental, representing a reduction of up to 43% for connection and up to 14% for rental.

  • BES 100Mb reduced to the same price as BES 10Mb for connection and rental, representing a reduction of up to 65% for connection and up to 26% for rental.

"For our key Broadband suppliers this means the opportunity to buy super-fast gigabit capacity at drastically reduced prices and the chance to enhance their own network capacity with minimal incremental investment. In addition Communication Providers will soon be able to purchase ten times the capacity they buy today for more or less the same price, allowing business customers to massively improve their connectivity at a fraction of the cost, and providing a boost for UK competitiveness in an uncertain economic climate," stated Steve Robertson, CEO of Openreachhttp://www.btplc.com

Sunrise Telecom Sells Protocol Product Group to LTE Innovations

Sunrise Telecom will sell its Protocol Products Group (PPG) to LTE Innovations, a leading OSS consulting organization for the telecom industry, for approximately EUR 8 million, roughly $10 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2008. The completion of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

Sunrise Telecom's PPG division, which is based in Modena, Italy, is known for its 3GMaster and NeTracker protocol analyzer solutions, though most recently, its Traffic Analysis and Monitoring System (TAMS) and Mobile X-Ray Mobile Data Services analysis platform have gained recognition as dominant monitoring and troubleshooting platforms for advanced telecom environments.http://www.sunrisetelecom.com/http://www.lteinnovations.com

Trapeze Networks Chief Strategist to Chair IEEE 802.11 Task Group

Trapeze Networks' Matthew Gast has been elected to chair the IEEE committee that is guiding the evolution of the wireless local area networking standard, 802.11. Gast is the author of the best selling guide to wireless networking, chairs important task groups for the Wi-Fi Alliance and is the chief strategist in Trapeze Networks' Office of the CTO.

Trapeze Networks noted that the original IEEE 802.11 standard was published in 1997 and since then wireless networking has revolutionized the way people work in the office, at home and on the road. The task group Gast is chairing will respond to interpretation requests on the standard and revise it. The current revision of 802.11 was published in 2007. Since that point, three amendments (802.11k, 802.11r, and 802.11y) have been ratified and IEEE rules require a "roll-up" revision that incorporates these amendments. The revision is currently expected in 2011.http://www.trapezenetworks.com

Agito Networks Names Amit Chawla as CEO

Agito Networks, a start-up specializing in enterprise fixed mobile convergence, has named former Veraz Networks executive Amit Chawla as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. Most recently, Mr. Chawla served as the Executive Vice President of Global Business Units for Veraz Networks. Previously, he spent 13 years at Nortel Networks, most recently as Vice President of Portfolio Management.

Agito Networks' flagship product fuses WiFi, cellular, IP telephony, and location information. The RoamAnywhere platform mobilizes voice and unified communications for enterprises of all sizes, extending PBX and deskphone features to mobile phones. In addition, RoamAnywhere provides handover between WiFi and cellular networks to reduce cellular costs and improve in-building coverage.http://www.agitonetworks.com

Verizon FiOS TV Completes Digital Television Upgrade

Verizon's FiOS TV has completed its migration to 100 percent digital service, In an initiative that began in April, the company phased out the small number of duplicate analog channels that had been offered on its FiOS TV service.

Verizon has always provided all FiOS TV programming in digital format. Previously, however, Verizon also provided duplicate signals in analog for some channels. Some customers used the old analog signals to view limited programming on a television set not equipped with a set top box, CableCard or digital tuner.http://www.verizon.com