Monday, June 8, 2009

ST-Ericsson Delivers TD-HSDPA Silicon to Samsung

ST-Ericsson and its Chinese subsidiary T3G have supplied a TD-HSDPA and EDGE platform for Samsung's high-end mobile devices for China. Specifically, ST-Ericsson's multimedia T7210 silicon powers Samsungs feature-rich Emerald (GC-I6320C) handset, which is a TD-HSDPA/EDGE dual-mode, dual-band device capable of supporting downlink speeds of up to 2.8Mbps. ST-Ericsson platforms' flexible dual-mode design enables seamless automatic handover between EDGE and TD-HSDPA networks.

Africa Coast to Europe Submarine Cable Anticipates 1.92 Tbps Capacity by 2011

Plans for the ACE (Africa Coast to Europe) submarine cable system, which was initially planned to stretch from France to Gabon, have been extended to include all of the west coast of the African continent. The ACE submarine cable system, which will be more than 14,000 km long, is slated for commissioning in 2011. It is expected to deliver a minimum initial capacity of 1.92 Tbps. The ACE consortium currently comprises seventeen telecommunications operators.

Ericsson Secures First Managed Services Contract in Africa with Zain Nigeria

Ericsson won a five-year strategic managed services agreement to operate Zain's nationwide GSM/WCDMA networks in Nigeria.
The deal is believed to be the first telecom managed services contract on the African continent. Specifically, Ericsson will be responsible for the network operations, field operations including optimization, third-party vendor management for Zain's GSM/WCDMA networks, and business support systems. Ericsson will serve more than 4000 sites across Nigeria on behalf of Zain. As part of the agreement, about 450 employees will be transferred, under their existing terms and conditions of service, from Zain to Ericsson, where they will undergo further training in the latest wireless technologies.

China Telecom chooses Alcatel-Lucent's GPON

Alcatel-Lucent announced that it has secured nearly 40% of China Telecom's 2009 FTTH trial projects. Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will supply its 7342 Intelligent Services Access Manager Fiber-to-the-User (ISAM FTTU) platform along with the Alcatel-Lucent 5520 Access Management System (AMS). The contracts were secured through Alcatel-Lucent Shanghai Bell, Alcatel-Lucent's flagship company in China.

Open Patent Alliance Expands 4G WiMAX Membership

The Open Patent Alliance (OPA), an industry group dedicated to offering intellectual property rights (IPR) solutions that support the development and widespread adoption of WiMAX around the globe, announced its latest membership additions: Beceem Communications, GCT Semiconductor, Sequans Communications and UQ Communications. Existing backers of OPA include Acer, Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Cisco, Clearwire, Huawei Technologies, Intel Corporation and Samsung Electronics.

NEC Introduces Video & Web Collaboration Tools

NEC Unified Solutions launched UC for Enterprise (UCE) Collaboration, a video and web conferencing and collaboration application designed to help enterprises make meaningful remote contact with customers and employees. Hosted Collaboration, a web-based service offering the same features and functionality to small- and medium-sized businesses, is also now available.

NEC said its UCE Collaboration tools can facilitate scheduled or impromptu video or web collaboration. Both UCE Collaboration and Hosted Collaboration incorporate the audio, web and video components needed for live online meetings. Key features include:

  • Video Conferencing -- from 1 to 16 video windows open during a conference; the meeting moderator can dynamically control the video feeds to select which conference participants are visible at any time; the moderator can define who is viewed and by whom, as well as mute individual participants' video and/or audio (if using VoIP streaming audio). The total number of participants is limited by the number of seats purchased.

  • VoIP

  • Whiteboarding -- a freeform whiteboard for drawing, brainstorming, and working out ideas that is shared between all conference participants.

  • Desktop Sharing -- users share desktop or a specific application with others for them to view as they present, demonstrate a product, or provide training.

  • Applications/Computer Sharing -- participants can work on a document, spreadsheet or presentation on one user's computer together; users may give other participants control of their desktop.

  • Polling/Surveys -- take instant polls and have the system provide an immediate graph of the results to be shared with the group; survey participants in detail and store results on the conference server for review after the conference session.

UCE and Hosted Collaboration are offered in conjunction with XL Meeting, a reservationless third-party audio, video and web hosting service.

Sunrise Telecom Unveils10 Gigabit Ethernet and IP Services Testing

Sunrise Telecom introduced its XTT 5000 compact 10 Gigabit Ethernet multi-function test system.

The new, lightweight field test system is designed specifically to speed successful installation and maintenance of carrier-grade Ethernet and IP services. For the first time, field technicians can use a single, all-inclusive test system for installation and maintenance of both 1 GigE and 10 GigE networks.

The XTT 5000 can perform simultaneous and independent tests at full line rates over its three test ports for 10/100 Mbps, 1 GigE and 10 GigE. Additionally, advanced traffic generation up to Layer 4, including stacked VLAN (Q-in-Q) and MPLS, enables thorough testing of wholesale as well as retail Ethernet deployments. A built-in test time feature provides the user with an estimate of the length of time a test will take at the configuration stage to optimize test execution and technician productivity. The quick latency feature can reduce RFC2544 test time by up to 50%, increasing the field engineer's effectiveness and customer convenience.

BT Opens Telepresence Centers in London, NY, Denver

BT is opening HD telepresence video conferencing demonstration centers in London, New York and Denver where customers can compare telepresence systems before they buy.

The new centers showcase the HD telepresence video conferencing technology of BT's partners, Cisco, Polycom and TANDBERG as well as BT's software applications. The centers also showcase BT Global Video Exchange, which allows Cisco TelePresence connections between different companies.

Telstra Renews Services Agreement With IBM Until 2014

Telstra has extended its information technology (IT) operations and services agreement with IBM until 2014. The five-year contract, which is an extension of an existing services agreement, is worth a total of AU$745million.

Under the contract, IBM builds and manages Telstra's servers, software and systems. As part of the new services agreement, IBM will move to improve operational delivery while simplifying and streamlining server builds for Telstra, including:

  • Implementing a standard set of processes and tools across more than
    3000 servers

  • Adopting a "factory" approach, featuring standardised, repeatable processes, to build and configure new servers for Telstra.

  • Defining standard processes, procedures, tools, forms and work products for each phase of a server build

  • Implementing streamlined documentation requirements in the areas of design, approvals and changes

  • Implementing a consistent server base state for application on-boarding

British Columbia's BCNET Deploys Juniper Ethernet Routers

BCNET, which operates advanced networks for British Columbia's research and higher education communities, has deployed Juniper Networks' MX480 Ethernet Services Routers. Because of the large volume of data transmitted between various universities and research centers across the province, BCNET needed to migrate its 1Gbps Ethernet routed network to a higher capacity 10Gbps architecture. BCNET is also deployingMPLS related features such as Layer 2 and Layer 3 VPNs, virtual routing and virtual private LAN service (VPLS) to support their customers' needs for connectivity, application support, quality of service, and security while minimizing the complexity of supporting a rapidly growing network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

T-Mobile USA Finds No Trace of Breach

T-Mobile USA issued a statement saying it has found no evidence at this time that customer information, or other company information, has been compromised by an alledged hacker. The company said it continues to monitor this situation and as a precaution has taken additional measures to further ensure customers' information and its systems are protected.

Marvell Settles Shareholder Class Action Lawsuit for $72 Million

Marvell Technology Group reached an agreement to resolve a shareholder class action lawsuit filed on August 16, 2007 against Marvell and certain of its former and current officers and directors relating to Marvell's historic stock option granting practices. The settlement provides for a payment by Marvell to the class of $72 million.

ETSI to Host IPTV – IMS Test Event

ETSI is organizing a joint interoperability testing event for IPTV and IMS core networks. The event, delivered under ETSI's "Plugtests" brand, will take place in Lannion, France, from 16 to 23 October. Two parallel, co-located testing streams will be arranged, providing separate interoperability testing environments for the two technologies. In both streams, test sessions will be scheduled between pairs of participating companies, and the overall results of all sessions will be published in a final report. Ad-hoc testing will also be permitted, the results of which will not be included in the report. Network operators are invited to attend both streams of this event as observers.

Participants will evaluate IMS network interoperability, focusing on all aspects of the core IMS standard TS 24.229, including interworking, roaming, topology hiding, as well as support of presence and Multimedia Telephony (MMTel) application services. Testing will be based on test descriptions which form part of ETSI Technical Specification TS 186 011-2 v2.2.1.

Technical partners at the event include Orange and the MultiService Forum. The event is sponsored by the European Commission, the Ville de Lannion and the Lannion-Trégor Agglomeration.

Cisco Forecasts Global IP Traffic to Increase Fivefold by 2013, Reaching 667 Exabytes

Cisco is now predicting that global IP traffic will increase fivefold by 2013 driven by expanded usage of interactive media, and the explosion of video content across multiple devices. This would put the total IP traffic volume at 667 Exabytes per year or 56 exabytes per month -- the equivalent of 10 billion DVDs worth of data per month traversing networks. The newly updated study, called the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Forecast and Methodology, 2008-2013, is based on Cisco analysis and modeling of independent analysts' forecasts. It includes traffic estimates for the public Internet, private IP backbones, IPTV services, IP-enable VOD services, mobile Internet traffic and "ambient video", such as security cameras, that are becoming IP-enabled. The Cisco study is an on-going initiative with updates approximately every six months.

Some interesting highlights from the report:

  • IP traffic in North America will reach 13 exabytes per month by 2013, slightly ahead of Western Europe, which will reach 12.5 exabytes per month, and behind Asia Pacific (AsiaPac), where IP traffic will reach 21 exabytes per month. Monthly Internet traffic in Asia Pacific will generate 4.1 billion DVDs worth of traffic, or 16.5 exabytes per month. IP traffic in Japan will reach 3 exabytes per month by 2013 at a CAGR of 37 percent. Monthly Internet traffic in Japan will generate half a billion DVDs worth of traffic, or 2 exabytes per month.

  • Middle East and Africa will grow the fastest, with a compound annual growth rate of 51 percent, reaching 1 exabyte per month in 2013.

  • By 2013, the sum of all forms of video (TV, VoD, Internet video, and P2P) will exceed 90 percent of global consumer IP traffic

  • Video communications traffic (video over instant messaging, video calls) will increase 10-fold from 2008 to 2013

  • Mobile data traffic will roughly double each year from 2008 to 2013, increasing 66 times between 2008 and 2013.

  • Almost 64 percent of the world's mobile data traffic will be video in 2013. (Mobile video is the fastest-growing application category measured within the Cisco VNI.)

  • Consumer Hyperconnectivity, (which includes active digital multitasking and passive networking), increases the "digital day" as IP networks support more and more tasks and functions simultaneously from a host of networked devices (e.g. TV, PC, mobile device, et al.)

  • By 2013, active digital multitasking, such as listening to online music while working online or web browsing/instant messaging while talking on the phone, will add six "network hours" to each day

  • By 2013, passive networking, such as DVR recording while watching other network programming, online storage backups conducted in the background of user experiences, or ambient video from such devices as a security or nanny-cam, will add another six "network hours" to each day

  • By 2013 the surface area of the world's digital screens will be nearly 11 billion square feet (1 billion square meters), or the equivalent of 2 billion large-screen TVs. Together, this amount would be more than 15 times the surface area of Manhattan. If laid end-to-end, these screens would circle the globe more than 48 times.

  • Business IP traffic will grow at a CAGR of 33 percent from 2008 to 2013. Increased adoption of advanced video communications in the enterprise segment will cause business IP traffic to grow by a factor of four between 2008 and 2013.

  • Business IP WAN traffic will grow at a faster pace than business Internet. Today, total business Internet traffic is more than twice the volume of IP WAN. By 2013, however, video will have made its way onto the WAN, and intercompany WANs will have matured, so that IP WAN will grow at a CAGR of 36 percent, compared to a CAGR of 32 percent for business Internet.

Further data is posted online. Cisco is also offering a free VNI forecast widget that permits customized views of the growth of various types of network traffic

One Minute Video: Dell'Oro's Set-top Box Report

Presented by Greg Collins

Sunday, June 7, 2009

AT&T's National Broadband Plan Calls for 100% Coverage by 2014

In a filing with the FCC regarding the national broadband plan, AT&T set a target and timeline of 100 percent broadband by 2014.

"A successful national broadband plan should aim for an Internet that is universal, open, private and safe. It should also foster an environment in which all participants in the Internet ecosystem have the incentive to continue the massive investments required to create more bandwidth, compelling content and applications that will make everyone in the United States want to be connected. Skill and leadership will be required to promote and balance these competing principles," said AT&T's Senior Vice-President of Federal Regulatory, Robert Quinn.

AT&T noted that lthough 8 percent of U.S. households still lack access to terrestrial broadband service, simply increasing the supply of broadband is not a magic bullet. There is a potentially greater challenge on the "demand" side of the equation. According to the most recent data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, only 55 percent of adult Americans have broadband Internet access service in their homes -- meaning that roughly 40 percent of American households that could get broadband service decline to do so.

Some key points of the AT&T filing:

1. Embrace the Diversity of Broadband. The National Broadband Plan should recognize and embrace all of these platforms, users, and services as part of the broadband ecosystem that will help ensure 100 percent broadband access and deliver the many societal benefits envisioned by Congress in the Recovery Act that will, in turn, promote 100 percent broadband adoption.

2. Engage All Broadband Stakeholders. The Broadband Plan is a plan for the entire nation, not just those entities traditionally regulated by the FCC. It must therefore engage a diverse collection of parties that have roles to play in achieving the 100 percent broadband goals discussed above: the private sector; consumers; public institutions; public-interest advocates; and the government.

3. Promote Broadband Innovation, Investment, and Deployment and Jobs. The private sector has invested hundreds of billions of dollars in broadband-enabled facilities, services, applications, and content over the last decade. This investment has been, and should continue to be the primary engine of broadband growth in the United States.

4. Provide Targeted Government Support for Broadband Deployment Where Needed. There will be some remote areas of the nation where the private sector alone will not be able to shoulder the financial burdens of deploying broadband facilities required to achieve 100 percent broadband access. In those circumstances, the government should provide targeted assistance, including acting on pending proposals to reform the universal service program (and the related intercarrier compensation regime) to provide support for broadband deployment.

5. Remove Impediments to Broadband Adoption. The National Broadband Plan must address the impediments that have kept some populations offline. The Plan must engage many stakeholders --both inside and outside the government--to provide training and public access to broadband services; economic assistance for the acquisition of broadband services and equipment; and incentives for the development of technology and content aimed at specific users' needs.

6. Encourage Maximum Utilization. The National Broadband Plan must encourage the deployment of more efficient and cost-effective--smarter--broadband networks, services, applications, and content as efficiently as possible. As broadband becomes more ingrained in our everyday lives--from web surfing to video conferencing to smart grids to e-commerce and e-government to telemedicine and beyond--networks will need to dynamically provide the performance capabilities required by the increasingly diverse array of services, applications, and content traveling over them.

7. Enhance Cybersecurity and Online Safety. Ensuring 100 percent broadband access and enabling 100 percent adoption will be an utterly wasted effort if the National Broadband Plan does not also include a robust strategy for ensuring cybersecurity and online safety. As broadband services play an increasingly instrumental role in virtually all facets of our cultural, economic, social, and governmental institutions, a secure and safe online environment is an imperative.

Fanfare Adds Virtual Testbed to its iTest

Fanfare released the latest version of iTest, its flagship test automation product, featuring new Virtual Testbed (VTB) capabilities.
The VTB features in iTest 3.4 enables testers to build test cases before devices exist, beginning the quality process months earlier than before. Testers can also leverage a VTB for test development by using virtual replicas of real devices and costly test equipment.

Fanfare said its Virtual Testbed will help cut capital expenditures by helping organizations better utilizing their lab assets and infrastructure. The VTB capabilities also enable testers to work remotely.

Among several other new features, iTest 3.4 includes:

Scheduling and Test Suites -- Test management is streamlined in 3.4 by allowing users to quickly identify and group multiple tests as a test suite and schedule them to run at a certain time or on a recurring basis, further accelerating the rate and efficiency of testing. This feature is available in iTest Team and iTest Enterprise editions.

New and Improved Integrations -- Layer 2-3 and 4-7 testing is enhanced with support for Ixia's IxNetwork and Spirent Avalanche. The Avalanche integration provides a rich user interface inside of iTest for users to interact directly with Avalanche. For users of iTest's HPQC integration, there is now batch publishing of tests and reports to HPQC. This optional module is available for $1,000 each per year.

iTest 3.4 is now generally available.

CWA: National Broadband Plan Must Include Public Hearings

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) issued its own recommendations for a national broadband plan. Key recommendations in the CWA filing include:

  • A series of public hearings in communities across the country that will help provide guidance for the national plan from a broad group of citizens, businesses and communities.

  • Benchmarks that are ambitious, but achievable, with an initial goal of 10 megabits per second downstream and 1 megabit per second upstream. CWA is calling for specific benchmarks to increase broadband speeds to the home over a six-year period.

  • Establish tax incentives that encourage private businesses to build out and upgrade universal, advanced networks. Encouraging and accelerating the deployment of these advanced networks is an extremely cost-effective policy.

  • Safeguard consumers and create quality jobs by requiring public reporting for deployment, actual speed, price and quality of service, and insisting that employers adhere to all labor laws and standards, including workers' rights to bargaining collectively and form a union.