Monday, March 30, 2009

Alloptic Debuts DOCSIS Enabled PON

Alloptic, which offers RF over glass (RFoG) and passive optical networking (PON) solutions, is now supporting a DOCSIS PON capability that lets cables operators introduce PONs into their network plant while preserving their existing DOCSIS management systems. The D-PON capability is enabled by new software for Alloptic's DOCSIS PON Controller (DPC), which provides DOCSIS provisioning and control of its EPON system.

DPC acts as a proxy between back office systems and the Alloptic GEPON system. In effect, the PON OLT appears to be a cable modem termination system (CMTS), and the PON ONU takes the place of the cable modem, resulting in PON performance from a DOCSIS-controlled network.

DPC works in concert with Alloptic's other products including its RFoG MicroNode ONUs, GEPON OLTs and ONTs and the GEMS management system to allow increased operational efficiencies, bandwidth gains and the ability to offer advanced services to residential and business customers without requiring major overhauls or replacement of OSS components.

By enabling DOCSIS-controlled PONs, Alloptic said service providers can enhance their current networks in a phased approach, with new network elements that excel for both greenfield and brownfield deployments, integrating tried and true technologies where rip-and-replace isn't economically feasible.

Time Warner Cable Picks Motorola tru2wayMulti-room DVR Solution

Time Warner Cable is developing a multi-room digital video recorder (DVR) solution using Motorola tru2way set-top software. The Follow Me TV solution will enable subscribers to access, share and place shift video recordings throughout the home. Time Warner Cable aims to bring the solution to market later this year.

Motorola developed the whole-home DVR solution to work with tru2way software and the Motorola DCX3400-M and Motorola DCX3200-M tru2way-enabled set-tops. Using MoCA (Multimedia over Coaxial Alliance) technology, the solution creates a multimedia network using existing coaxial cable in consumer homes. The network is capable of transporting high-definition video, high-quality digital voice, and high-speed data to televisions, DVRs, game consoles, wireless access points, and home computers.

Sprint Forms Standalone Business Markets Group

Sprint has established a new business unit dedicated solely to enterprise and government customers. The Business Markets Group is staffed by more than 4,000 sales, support, marketing and operations personnel.

Previously, Sprint managed its business, government and consumer sales under an umbrella organization. The new and separate unit brings Sprint's business, government, 4G, IP wireline, international and strategic alliance teams into a distinct sales and marketing organization with a singular focus on business and government customers. Additionally, Sprint will continue to provide those customers with enhanced customer care services, including individualized support from specially-trained agents for business and government customers.

"Sprint is in a unique position with regard to its technology deployment and applications capabilities," said Paget Alves, president of Business Markets Group, Sprint. "We have the nation's most dependable 3G mobile broadband network,* 4G capabilities that are well ahead of our competitors, the fastest national push-to-talk network, and Sprint's leadership in wireless-wireline integration. As a result, we can deliver productivity-enhancing solutions at a time when economic pressures make that especially important to our business customers."

Columbus Networks shifts to 40G with NSN

Columbus Networks is upgrading its network with a 40Gbps solution from Nokia Siemens Networks. The upgrade will add capacity to Columbus Networks' Florida Transport Network, which serves as a main US backbone connecting international undersea cables ARCOS-1 and CFX. Columbus Networks already provides over 200Gbps of capacity and IP services and seeks to use the latest technology to meet its customer needs for the foreseeable future. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Nokia Siemens Networks will provide a turnkey solution whose cornerstone is the latest version of the hiT 7300 DWDM platform, which allows for regional to long-haul transport applications and supports ROADM (reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer) technology.

This will provide Columbus Networks with a highly scalable transport backbone that can securely and cost-efficiently manage the high data traffic volumes required by its carrier customers. Additionally, the ROADM support for multi-degree Photonic-Cross-Connects (PXC) supporting 80 channels enables Columbus Networks to best route this data traffic on the optical layer remotely so they can quickly and flexibly manage varying data traffic demands.

Firetide Forecasts Big Jump in Large-Scale Municipal Wireless Networks in 2009

In addition, Firetide issued a forecast calling 2009 the year for large-scale, municipal wireless mesh networks. The company said its growth will be driven by a number of confluent factors: its market and technology leadership in city-owned video surveillance networks which are expected to expand; the Fed's stimulus package designed to dramatically increase spending on state and local infrastructures; and the new 400 Mbps bandwidth solution.

Firetide, which specializes in wireless infrastructure mesh networks, announced its new, MIMO-based Firetide HotPort 7000 wireless solution delivering up to 400 Mbps throughput. The greater capacity is expected to drive the deployment of large-scale municipal, industrial and enterprise wireless networks for video, data and voice applications. The HotPort 7000 leverages MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) infrastructure mesh technology to enable city-wide video surveillance, traffic management and intelligent transportation systems, Wi-Fi access for mobile city workers and wireless broadband for underserved areas. Key attributes include:

  • up to 400 Mbps throughput; fiber-equivalent latency at .9 ms per hop; 1,000 VoIP calls per node

  • built-in interference mitigation; intelligent routing; end-to-end QoS on a per-flow basis

  • integrated spectrum analysis; network capacity planning and antenna alignment tools

  • dual configurable radios in 2.4, 4.9 (U.S. public safety licensed band) and 5 GHz frequency bands; indoor and outdoor models.

With up to 400 Mbps capacity, the Firetide HotPort 7000 MIMO-based infrastructure mesh exceeds the performance of wired solutions like T1, Fast Ethernet and OC-3 fiber.

Firetide also noted that it has doubled its revenues every year since its founding in 2003. In the U.S., over 300 municipalities have deployed Firetide-enabled wireless video surveillance systems and are expanding the use of their wireless infrastructure to include other applications that protect and serve their communities. Firetide customers include some of the largest NFL U.S. municipalities: Chicago, Dallas, Orlando, Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles County.

Internationally, Seoul, Korea has deployed two municipal networks covering 700 square miles and supporting upwards of 10 applications each: video surveillance for public safety, tourist information over Wi-Fi, video cameras for monitoring wildlife, sensor connectivity for water level monitoring, and event location services such as finding missing children in the park.

Starent Networks Shows New Service Convergence Platform

Starent Networks announced its XT30 Service Convergence Platform for bridging between legacy and next generation networks with applications such as converged VoIP, Femtocells, messaging and presence solutions.

Starent's XT30 Service Convergence Platform uses a multi-service protocol conversion engine that enables the inter-working between different generations of network technology so operators can bridge next-generation services and multi-media devices with various networks. The platform supports interfaces from 3GPP, 3GPP2 and IETF to interface with mobile access networks, mobile core networks, SIP/IMS Core Networks, and broadband IP access networks.

Cellcom, a regional carrier, is using this platform as part of its end-to-end femtocell solution. Starent's XT30 Service Convergence Platform will enable Cellcom to migrate its current voice services to a next-generation VoIP solution with enhanced service offerings. Additionally, the platform is being deployed by a tier-one North American carrier for presence-based instant messaging services.

Shenick Offers Advanced Testing for DOCSIS 3.0

Shenick Network Systems now offers the ability to test and measure IPv4 and IPv6 traffic on a per-flow basis for Data-over-Cable Service Interface Specifications (DOCSIS) 3.0 and EURODOCSIS specifications.

Shenick's diversifEye platform can be used, to ensure that networks upgraded to deliver DOCSIS 3.0 can support the introduction of high-speed broadband services such as VoD and IPTV. In addition, Shenick enables MSOs to measure, in real-time, the effectiveness of upstream channel bonding at the application layer on a per-end user, per-flow basis.

Freescale Accelerates Multicore 45-nm Silicon for Next-Gen Systems

Citing strong demand from wireless infrastructure equipment manufacturers targeting advanced 3G and 4G systems, Freescale Semiconductor is accelerating availability of key communications products based on 45-nm process technology.

Specifically, Freescale is now sampling the PowerQUICC MPC8569E processor, the dual-core QorIQ P2020 device and the six-core MSC8156 StarCore digital signal processor (DSP). The devices are sampling to more than a dozen OEM customers and are actively being used in the development of next-generation infrastructure solutions. Customer validation/bring-up activities have continued on or ahead of schedule and volume production is expected to begin in 45-nm at the end of 2009.

"In the current economic environment, it is encouraging to see tremendous worldwide demand for enabling technology that facilitates deployment of broadband infrastructure equipment for advanced 3G and 4G networks," said Lisa Su, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale's Networking and Multimedia Group. "By accelerating delivery of our high-performance 45-nm products to customers, Freescale is playing a key role in delivering the performance and cost reductions required to bring next-generation networks to life."

Broadcom Unveils BroadSync Tech for Streaming HD Video over Ethernet

Broadcom introduced its "BroadSync" HD technology to enable the streaming of high definition (HD) audio/video (A/V) traffic over Ethernet to networked electronic devices. BroadSync HD technology is Broadcom's custom implementation of the IEEE 802.1 Audio Video Bridging (AVB) draft standard, which provides guaranteed QoS, frame synchronization and timing that is necessary to stream professional-quality audio and video traffic over Ethernet.

Broadcom said this new technology expands the market for its existing Ethernet portfolio beyond traditional networking applications by promoting Ethernet as a cost effective, easy-to-install technology, with professional levels of Quality of Service (QoS), for the consumer and professional A/V electronics market.

"The connectivity technologies used today in consumer and professional audio/video electronics can be difficult to use with a plethora of seemingly identical connectors and obscure labels," said Michael Johas Teener, Technical Director, Broadcom's Enterprise Networking Group. "These technologies also present technical issues such as limited performance, fixed functionality and the inability to connect with computers or the Internet. Broadcom's BroadSync HD technology solves these problems by combining guaranteed bandwidth, quality of service, and low latency with the flexibility and performance of Ethernet."

Broadcom plans to lead the effort to promote the AVB draft standard, which uses standard Ethernet connectivity (i.e. Category 5 cabling and RJ45 connectors), as the common underlying technology for high quality network-based streaming that will eventually replace most other types of connectivity presently used in A/V equipment.

Sonus Networks Outlines LTE Strategy

Sonus Networks outlined its strategy for supporting mobile operators in the migration to Long Term Evolution (LTE). The overall architecture, known as Sonus MobilEvolution, combines Sonus IP-Voice and Multimedia SIP core network technology with the Sonus MobilEdge wireless access node for IP-based radio access. This enables the delivery of basic voice and SMS services from the circuit core even when using the all IP LTE radio access network, and will allow operators to build a richer communications experience to end-users through voice and multimedia.

Sonus said its "MobilEvolution" architecture supports joint interworking of packet and circuit-switched network elements, enabling mobile network operators to initially combine a circuit-switched core network for legacy services with an IP-based access and core network for multimedia services. The Sonus MobilEdge can be used as a VANC (VoLGA Access Network Controller) as defined through the VoLGA forum. The VoLGA forum has been set up to facilitate the delivery of voice and SMS services within the LTE environment from initial development.

In addition, Sonus has joined the VoLGA Forum (Voice over LTE Generic Access).

Harris Corporation to Spin-Off Harris Stratex Networks

The Board of Directors of Harris Corporation has approved the spin-off to its shareholders of all the shares of Harris Stratex Networks that it currently owns. The distribution of the approximately 56 percent of the outstanding shares of Harris Stratex Networks owned by Harris Corporation, 32.9 million shares, will take place in the form of a taxable pro rata stock dividend payable on May 27, 2009, to Harris Corporation shareholders of record at the close of business on May 13, 2009, the record date for the spin-off dividend.

Harris Corporation announced December 8, 2008, that it was evaluating strategic alternatives related to Harris Stratex Networks, which was formed January 26, 2007, through the combination of Harris Corporation's Microwave Communications Division and Stratex Networks, Inc.

American Airlines to Offer Aircell's Inflight Internet on 300 Aircraft

American Airlines announced plans to install Aircell's Gogo Inflight Internet on more than 300 domestic aircraft over the next two years. Specifically, American will install the Aircell system on its domestic MD-80 and Boeing 737-800 aircraft fleets, beginning with 150 MD-80 aircraft this year.

American was the first U.S. airline to launch the Gogo service last August on 15 of its Boeing 767-200 aircraft primarily on nonstop flights between New York JFK and San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Miami.

Aircell's price for the Gogo service ranges from $7.95 to $12.95 based on length of flight and whether the device is a handheld PDA or a laptop computer. Each paid Gogo session includes full Internet, e-mail and VPN access. Cell phone and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service use will not be available.

Cox Selects NDS As Prime Integrator for tru2way System

Cox Communications has selected NDS to be the prime integrator for its upcoming tru2way platform, set to launch in Summer 2009. Specifically, NDS will be responsible for the management and implementation of the tru2way system that will be deployed by Cox. NDS will provide these services for the complete end-to-end solution, from the headend through to the set-top box (STB) components. NDS' role will initially begin with the roll out of the tru2way STBs to Cox customers in July. NDS will also provide the tru2way user interface and interactive applications moving forward. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Cox and NDS recently announced their development of a tru2way compliant user interface (UI) that encompasses a variety of interactive options for the consumer. The Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and interactive applications suite, implemented by NDS, are integrated into Cox's centralized, user-friendly UI along with Video On Demand (VOD) and a digital video recorder (DVR).

IP/MPLS Forum Advances its “MPLS in Mobile Backhaul�? Certification Program

The IP/MPLS Forum announced the successful completion of the pilot phase of its "MPLS in Mobile Backhaul" Certification program, with 4 vendors completing and successfully passing the tests. Vendors who have successfully completed this initial phase of certification include:

  • Alcatel-Lucent - 7750 Service Router and 7705 Service Aggregation Router
  • Huawei Technologies - CX600 Series Metro Service Platform
  • Juniper Networks - BX7000 Multi-Access Gateway.

    In addition, Cisco has already been certified as part of the pilot phase of the certification program which was announced in February.

    In this initial phase of certification, the test focused primarily on certifying standards-compliant implementations of TDM services over MPLS as used in the IP/MPLS Forum's MPLS Mobile Backhaul Initiative (MMBI) which outlines how MPLS can be used to backhaul TDM traffic for mobile operators. Iometrix conducted the testing.

    "Mobile operators today must resolve the burden imposed by ever-increasing bandwidth usage by mobile users," said Bob Mandeville, CEO of Iometrix. "A critical part of the solution is how to deal with circuit-based backhaul traffic which is still used by a large portion of mobile backhaul-based equipment in the network today. Through these certification tests, we have been able to certify solutions which meet the MMBI specifications, thus giving operators, standard based easily-understood MPLS-based solutions to begin deploying immediately for mobile backhaul."

    The Forum noted that additional phases of the certification program will be announced shortly, and will certify both ATM and IP solutions over MPLS, thereby ensuring a broad range of application support for operators across various Radio Access Networks (RAN) architectures including GSM, UMTS, HSPA, LTE and WiMAX.

AT&T to Support Microsoft's PlayReady for Shared Content Across TV, PC, Mobiles

AT&T has agreed to use Microsoft PlayReady content access and protection technology to enable shared content and converged entertainment experiences across AT&T's TV, broadband and wireless services. As part of this collaboration, Microsoft intends to add support for PlayReady into its Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV software platform, enabling access to PlayReady-based content through AT&T U-verse TV set-top boxes.

"We're committed to offering compelling entertainment experiences across a wide variety of platforms and devices," said Brian Shay, senior vice president of Converged Services, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "PlayReady will help us give customers broader access to compelling content."

"AT&T's vision of converged entertainment services is something we share, and our collaboration on the use of PlayReady technology for content access and protection represents a significant milestone toward the future of integrated entertainment across multiple screens," said Enrique Rodriguez, corporate vice president of the TV, Video and Music Business Group at Microsoft. "Through the power of software such as PlayReady and Mediaroom, AT&T will bring its customers an exciting new range of services and content."

Microsoft said its PlayReady is designed to enable digital entertainment services across devices and software applications, with a specific focus on meeting the needs of mobile and network operators, service providers and device manufacturers. PlayReady supports a broad range of business models that can be applied to almost any type of digital content and a wide range of formats. PlayReady also provides features such as service domains and embedded licenses specifically designed to make it easy for consumers to enjoy content on all their registered devices without the need of an active connection.

Ericsson Pushes HSPA to 56 Mbps

Ericsson announced a new performance record for HSPA wireless technology -- a peak of 56 Mbps in the downlink.

HSPA multi-carrier technology with MIMO, which is currently being standardized, is scheduled for commercial deployment in 2010. By the end of 2009, Ericsson will support commercial deployment of multi-carrier technology with speeds up to 42Mbps - an achievement successfully demonstrated at the recent Mobile World Conference in Barcelona.

Ericsson will demonstrate HSPA multi-carrier MIMO technology, providing peak downlink data rates of 56Mbps, at this week's CTIA Wireless exhibition in Las Vegas. The demonstration will be carried out with a concept-design version of an Ericsson HSPA-enabled mobile-broadband router. This consumer device can be used anywhere broadband access is needed, sharing a mobile-broadband connection between multiple consumers and providing efficient use of the high-speed broadband connection.

Ericsson's Latest Mobile-broadband Module Offers Anti-Theft Disabling

Ericsson unveiled its latest mobile broadband module for HSPA/GPRS/EDGE networks. The new module, which will be released in June, provides reduced power consumption, prolonged battery life and an increased level of integration, reducing the number of necessary components and therefore cost. The new module will also provide built-in mobile broadband support for Microsoft Windows 7.

An important facet of the F3607gw is the unique wake-on wireless feature. By remaining connected while a notebook or netbook is in sleep mode, the module's wake-on wireless feature enables users to remotely wake up the device. This innovative technology will allow a new set of applications to be built into the computer to further enhance security and instant-on functionalities, such as the ability to disable the computer in case of theft, or instant distribution of important messages and security updates.

Operators can also combine the wake-on wireless feature and embedded GPS functionality to create a range of differentiating services for consumers and the enterprise market, including remote manageability, security updates, asset protection and tracking and geo-fencing. The module can also be used for content push services, such as podcasts, public warnings, traffic updates and database updates.

Specifically, the wake-on wireless feature supports security solutions based on Intel's Anti-Theft PC Protection Technology. An anti-theft management service in the network can send a message via SMS to the mobile-broadband module inside the notebook, which securely transfers the message to Intel's Anti-Theft function inside the processor platform. This takes appropriate actions, such as completely locking the computer and making it unusable. When the notebook is located and recovered, an unlock message can be sent to the notebook that makes the data accessible again.

Skype for iPhone Officially Released

Skype for iPhone was officially released and is now available for free download on the Apple App Store. The app adds Skype calling and instant messaging to any second generation iPod touch with a compatible headset and microphone.

The application delivers core Skype capabilities including:

  • Free Skype-to-Skype calls from any Wi-Fi zone to other Skype users worldwide

  • Call landline or mobile phones at Skype's great low rates from any Wi-Fi zone

  • Send/receive instant messages to/from individuals or groups via 3G, Wi-Fi, GPRS or EDGE (whichever is available)

  • Receive calls to a personal online number on Skype

  • See when Skype contacts are online/available to IM or talk

Skype for iPhone requires a Wi-Fi connection to make free Skype-to-Skype calls or low-cost Skype calls to mobiles and landlines. Users will not be charged by Skype for making and receiving Skype-to-Skype calls using an iPhone or iPod touch. Skype's normal rates apply if using Skype to call landlines or mobiles. The app uses Wi-Fi, 3G, GPRS or EDGE (whichever is available) to sign into Skype, update a contact list, maintain and update presence and send/receive instant messages. Skype recommends an unlimited data usage plan for using Skype over a mobile data connection to avoid being charged by a wireless service provider for 3G, GPRS and EDGE mobile data usage.

Video Presentation: Carrier Ethernet for Mobile Backhaul

Earlier this year, the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) approved "Carrier Ethernet for Mobile Backhaul Implementation Agreement (IA)", or MEF 22, which outlines how to apply existing MEF specifications and industry standards to meet the increasing demands on RAN backhaul.

Mobile backhaul networks until now relied on TDM and ATM technologies, with most locations served by (multiple) T1/E1 lines. Carrier Ethernet services are, however, optimized for packet data traffic and are increasingly available over a multitude of transport media -- including fiber, copper and microwave.


Several factors differentiate Ethernet Backhaul from other Ethernet networks, in particular the rapid handoff between base stations in mobile networks. Ethernet backhaul circuits require very tight performance requirements that must be supported by a deterministic architecture that reduces the number of hops required in a call. They must also provide the same level of network protection as PDH or SONET/SDH based networks. The MEF has identified these specific requirements and MEF 22 advises service providers how to successfully and cost-effectively implement Carrier Ethernet for mobile backhaul.

The MBIA addresses performance and quality of service parameters, synchronization options, recovery and protection mechanisms, and Ethernet OAM services. In addition, a Generic Inter-Working Function (GIWF) is defined for TDM-based traffic to be efficiently carried over the Ethernet network. New packet-based mobile backhaul networks introduce new architecture elements that the MBIA has identified and named to establish a common terminology and help to accelerate the adoption of Ethernet-based mobile backhaul networks across the industry.

The MBIA includes recommendations for the network design, architecture and operation of packet-based mobile backhaul networks and is designed to facilitate the deployment of profitable, data-driven mobile services by explaining both the benefits and technical implementation details. Meanwhile plans are underway for a second phase IA that will address further synchronization methods, emerging standards such as LTE and extended architectures.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Australia's Nextep to Deploy Juniper's IP/MPLS

Nextep, NEC's wholly-owned wholesale broadband division serving the Australian market, will be upgrading its network to a next-generation IP/MPLS routing infrastructure with Juniper Networks. Specifically, Nextep will deploy Juniper Networks M and MX Series Routers to scale its core network and the SA4500 SSL VPN Appliance to provide secure remote access. Nextep targets Australia's government and business segments and distributes the services through a network of channel partners that includes leading tier-2 carriers, ISPs and system integrators. The Juniper solution will increase network capacity, improve performance and lower cost of ownership. Financial terms were not disclosed.