Wednesday, June 24, 2009

BT and Tata Communications Sign Global Voice Agreement

BT and Tata Communications announced a major voice services agreement that will allow two of the world's largest providers of voice and IP services to mutually benefit from shared resources as part of a global supply arrangement.

Through the five-year agreement, Tata Communications will become BT's primary supplier of International Direct Dial (IDD) and other voice termination services outside BT's own footprint countries and BT will become Tata Communication's main distribution channel for its IDD traffic into the UK, expanding into other markets across Europe as the relationship matures.

By providing each party with access to additional capacity and flexibility, the relationship will allow BT and Tata Communications to benefit from each others' strengths as they develop and grow their businesses in their respective markets.

Brian Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of BT Wholesale Markets, said: "Tata Communications is a leader in the international wholesale voice business, making them a perfect partner to help us achieve additional economies of scale to those of our own. We look forward to maximizing the opportunities this relationship presents to both organizations as we expand our portfolio of wholesale products and services and ultimately strive to become even more competitive with our pricing."

Michel Guyot, President of Global Voice Solutions, Tata Communications, said: "We are proud to become BT's primary supplier of international voice termination services. The agreement will increase both partners' competitiveness and will enhance our respective service offerings. We are also very excited to have BT as our main distribution channel in the UK as we are confident that BT's resources and strong knowledge of the European market will be of great benefit to Tata Communications."

3Com Marks its 30 Year Anniversary

This week, 3Com is celebrating 30 years since Ethernet-inventor Bob Metcalfe incorporated the company.

The company noted a number of achievements. Starting with the first commercial TCP/IP for UNIX, and then the introduction of the first "Thicknet" Ethernet Transceiver, the 3C100, 3Com's 30-year timeline is dotted with customer-driven technology innovations such as:

  • The world's first Ethernet adapter card for the PC

  • The world's first commercial network operating system, Etherseries

  • Commercialization of Ethernet bridging which later evolved into Ethernet switching

  • Use of Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) to lower the cost and complexity of networking

  • The Ethernet stackable hub and switch

  • The invention and commercialization of Power over Ethernet (PoE)

  • Creation of IRF (XRN) virtual chassis stacking technology

  • Commercialization of voice-over-IP

Mzima Picks Ciena's Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery Portfolio

Mzima Networks has selected Ciena's Carrier Ethernet Service Delivery (CESD) portfolio for its next-generation IP network. Mzima offers a unique combination of route-optimized transit and private peering for customers requiring the highest levels of performance and reliability. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mzima will leverage one of Ciena's connection-oriented Ethernet technology options, specifically choosing a Provider Backbone Bridging--Traffic Engineering (PBB-TE) implementation. Ciena's CESD portfolio combines intelligent devices and software to deliver the full range of Ethernet services, simplifying the process associated with provisioning, service activation, and quality routing across Mzima's network.

For Mzima, Ciena said the implementation of PBB-TE combined with its Ethernet Services Manager (ESM) -- a carrier-grade, automated service activation, creation, and management platform -- enables significant acceleration and automation of service activation. Additionally, it minimizes the number of backbone device configurations while expanding Mzima's Operations, Administration and Maintenance (OAM) capabilities.

President Obama Nominates Meredith Baker for FCC Commissioner

President Barack Obama nominated Meredith Atwell Baker to be an FCC Commissioner, for the remainder of the term expiring June 30, 2011, that was previously held by Kevin J. Martin.

Meredith Attwell Baker most recently served as Acting Assistant Secretary of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration from 2007 to January 2009. She was previously Vice President at the firm of Williams Mullen Strategies, where she focused on telecommunications, intellectual property, and international trade issues. Earlier, she held the position of Senior Counsel at Covad Communications from 2000 to 2002, and Director of Congressional Affairs at the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA) from 1998 to 2000.

President Obama has also nominated Mignon L. Clyburn, of South Carolina, to be an FCC commissioner for the spot previously held by Deborah Taylor Tate.

Alcatel-Lucent: Consumers Spend on Broadband Even in Tight Economy

Broadband services appear to be nearly recession-proof, with 84 percent of consumers identifying broadband as an essential network service and therefore the least likely target for spending cuts, according to a series of recent studies sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent . The studies also showed that more consumers globally are planning to subscribe to and/or upgrade their broadband services, even while reducing spending in other areas.

Alcatel-Lucent said key factors driving this preference include a desire to reduce the cost and travel time associated with commuting, coupled with a preference for greener alternatives. In developed countries, respondents also noted a growing dependence on the Web as an information source, business tool, social network and entertainment venue.

"This clearly shows that people across the world rely on broadband services as a central part of their social and economic lives," said Tim Krause, Chief Marketing Officer for Alcatel-Lucent. "As the world looks at ways to address the twin challenges of economic growth and climate change, our research shows that broadband and the digital economy must absolutely be at the top of decision making agendas."

Tellabs Enhances its Optical Transport System

Tellabs introduced a new optical transport for its 7100 Optical Transport System, which is part of Tellabs Business Services and Wavelength Services solutions. The new optical transport network multiplexer module offers guaranteed quality video delivery.

The module makes timing and service transparent and offers protection options. It supports flexible service connections with any-rate interfaces for 100 Mbps to 2.7 Gbps and video signals such as SDI, HD-SDI and DVB-ASI.

The Tellabs 7100 system supports Carrier Ethernet, SONET/SDH and optical transport technologies over a dynamic, reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM)-enabled network.

In addition, the Tellabs 7100 system is now Interoperability Certified by EMC, an industry-recognized interoperability vendor. It can support Storage Area Network (SAN) applications meeting the industry requirements for high-quality services performance delivery.

Julius Genachowski Confirmed by Senate for FCC Chairman

The U.S. Senate confirmed Julius Genachowski as the new chairman of the FCC. The FCC also confirmed Robert McDowell, a Republican, for a second term as FCC commissioner.

The previous FCC chairman, Kevin Martin, a Republican, stepped down following the inauguration of President Obama.

Genachowski, who served as technology advisor to the Obama campaign, holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School (1991), where he studied with Barack Obama. Genachowski is cofounder and Managing Director of LaunchBox Digital and Rock Creek Ventures, and a Special Advisor at General Atlantic. He was a senior executive for eight years at IAC/InterActiveCorp, where his positions included Chief of Business Operations and General Counsel. He has served on the Boards of Directors of Expedia,, Ticketmaster, Website Pros, and The Motley Fool.

In government, Genachowski served at the Federal Communications Commission as Chief Counsel to Chairman Reed Hundt, and earlier as Special Counsel to FCC General Counsel (later Chairman) William Kennard. He was a law clerk for United States Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter and, before that, for Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. (ret.).

Genachowski received a J.D in 1991 from Harvard Law School (magna cum laude), where he was co-Notes Editor of the Harvard Law Review, and a B.A. in 1985 from Columbia College (magna cum laude). Genachowski was raised in New York, and now resides in Washington DC.

FCC Approves CenturyTel and EMBARQ Merger

The FCC approved CenturyTel's pending acquisition of EMBARQ. The merger is expected to be finalized on July 1, 2009.

In its approval, the FCC concluded that the proposed transaction is unlikely to harm competition or potential competition in those local
markets where the two companies currently compete. The FCC also stated that it not concerned that the merger will have significant anticompetitive effects in the three local markets where CenturyTel currently competes with Embarq for enterprise customers.

To gain approval, the companies have made a number of voluntary commitments to the FCC, including a pledge to "integrate, and adopt for CenturyTel CLEC orders, the automated [OSS] of Embarq within fifteen months of the transaction's close," and in the interim, to "devote additional resources to its existing manual CLEC order processing system to ensure that all local number portability requests are
promptly processed." Applicants also commit to processing CenturyTel's wholesale LNP orders through Embarq's OSS.

Furthermore, CenturyTel and EMBARQ specifically committed to substantially increase the broadband service available to consumers in the areas they serve over the next three years. The companies pledged to offer retail broadband Internet access to 100 percent of the merged company's retail single-line residential and single-line business access lines within three years of the transaction closing date. To meet this commitment, the merged company has committed to make available retail broadband Internet access service with a download speed of 768 kbps to 90 percent of such lines within three years using wireline technologies.128 The merged company will make available retail broadband Internet access service in accordance with the Commission's current definition of broadband to the remaining 10 percent of lines using alternative technologies and operating arrangements, including but not limited to satellite and terrestrial wireless broadband technologies.

"We have committed to the FCC that we will remain focused on infrastructure development and broadband deployment after completion of the merger," said Tom Gerke, EMBARQ's chief executive officer. "Our combined company is committed to investing in our communities and providing our customers high-quality, reliable communications and expanded broadband services."

The FCC memorandum and order approving the merger can be found on the FCC website.

  • The new company formed by the merger of CenturyTel and EMBARQ will be known as CenturyLink. Full deployment of the brand is expected to occur in the months following closing. As markets are converted to the new brand, customers will receive advance notification and CenturyLink will begin to appear on building signage, company vehicles and marketing materials.

AT&T Releases iPhone Apps for U-verse TV Scheduling, Navigation

AT&T released an iPhone application that lets its U-verse TV customers schedule recordings on their DVR.
The U-verse TV Mobile Remote Access App for iPhone and iPod touch also lets customers search U-verse TV program listings from the full program guide, view descriptions of selected programs, schedule program or series recordings, manage or edit scheduled recordings, and delete stored DVR content.

The launch of the new U-verse TV Mobile Remote Access App follows several DVR enhancements that are currently being rolled out to U-verse TV customers, including an exclusive new Total Home DVR feature that allows customers to schedule and delete recordings from any U-verse receiver in the home -- all from a single DVR.

Earlier this week, AT&T also released a turn-by-turn GPS navigation app for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

AT&T Navigator features regular map updates, speech recognition, ETA updates, more than 10 million business listings, real-time traffic alerts, one-touch rerouting and daily gas prices. The service is priced at $9.99 a month.

Clearwire Acquires Licenses from Oneida

Clearwire has acquired certain wireless licenses previously held by Oneida Communications Group and its financial backer, the private equity firm of Catalyst Investors. Catalyst began acquiring wireless licenses through its ownership of Oneida in 2006 and sold the majority of Oneida's spectrum holdings to Sprint Nextel in 2008. With this final transaction, Catalyst said it achieved a 38 percent annualized return on its investment.

Oneida was funded by management, Catalyst and Northwood Ventures to capitalize on the advent of 4G broadband wireless technology by acquiring a footprint of wireless licenses in various markets in the United States. Harold Furchtgott-Roth, former FCC Commissioner and Catalyst Operating Partner, served as the Company's co-founder and Chairman of the Board.

One Minute Video: What's Next For Carrier Ethernet?

presented by Umesh Kukreja, Alcatel-Lucent

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ericsson Picks Vestberg to Succeed Svanberg as CEO

Ericsson's Board of Directors has appointed Hans Vestberg (44) to replace Carl-Henric Svanberg as president and CEO effective January 1, 2010.

Carl-Henric Svanberg is leaving Ericsson to accepted the position of Chairman of BP, the world's fourth largest company.

Hans Vestberg is currently CFO and Executive Vice President of Ericsson He is 44 years old and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, in 1991. He joined Ericsson the same year and was within a short time period appointed to various international managerial positions in China, Sweden, Chile, Brazil and the US. Between 1998 and 2000 he was CFO of Ericsson in Brazil. In the years 2000 to 2002, Vestberg was Chief Financial Officer for Ericsson in North America and Ericsson's controller for the Americas. From 2002 to 2003 Vestberg served as President of Ericsson in Mexico. He became Senior Vice President and head of business unit Global Services in 2003 and was appointed Executive Vice President in 2005. Vestberg was appointed Chief Financial Officer in 2007.

Calix Introduces Active Ethernet Access Platform, Extended Reach GPON

Calix introduced a residential Active Ethernet (AE) platform and released an Extended Reach GPON capability for its Calix C7 Multiservice Access Platform (MSAP) that enables carriers to reach subscribers located up to 40 km.

The Calix E5-312 delivers last mile AE service to residential subscribers at distances of up to 60 km while preserving service providers' current investment in Calix' optical network terminals (ONTs). Key features of the new residential AE platform include:

  • The E5-312 is a purpose-built, environmentally hardened, small-form-factor 1RU platform that enables flexible deployment from the CO to the edge of the access network.

  • AE enables up to 1Gbps dedicated symmetrical bandwidth, allowing service providers to strategically serve high capacity residential customers whose upstream bandwidth requirements exceed that of the general consumer.

  • The flexibility of the Calix 700GX ONTs, which auto-detects and supports both AE and GPON from a common ONT, enables service providers to use the E5-312, or other Calix C- and E-Series platforms, to select the appropriate form factor and technology to match the service requirements of subscribers without the capital or operational expense of replacing the ONT.

  • The platform has 12 GE SFP ports for symmetric 1GE AE services that support copper or bi-directional (single fiber) optical modules; the AE optics modules are Calix screened to ensure carrier-grade performance.

  • Two standards-based 10GE SFP+ ports support ring and point-to-point topologies.

  • The platform supports several access network topologies, including GE/AE aggregation, GE uplink aggregation, 10GE/GE network uplink, and link aggregation.

  • Link aggregation provides logical NxGE link bonding for bandwidth expansion.

  • The E5-312 is fully managed by the Calix Management System (CMS), which provides a single network view and a common user experience independent of media type, protocol, or service.

In addition, Calix rolled out an enhanced Extended Reach GPON solution aimed at rural deployments. The latest C7 software Release 6.1 further enhances the Calix Extended Reach GPON solution, enabling a standards-based solution that, when deployed with a specialized, pluggable OIM, doubles a service provider's GPON service radius from 20 km to 40 km. Key features include:

  • Doubles the reach of standards-based GPON from 20 km to 40 km.

  • Support on all existing C7 GPON OLT line cards (new pluggable OIM required).

  • Support by any Calix 700, 700G, or 700GX ONT.

  • Standards-compliant solution based on ITU-TG.984.6 and Amendment 2 to ITU-T G.984.2.

Calix noted that it now has over 375 fiber customers, which span telcos, cable operators, developers and municipalities. More than 75 percent of Calix' customer base is deploying fiber technologies today.

Level 3 Builds Low-Latency Network Between NYC and Chicago

Level 3 Communications has activated a low-latency, fiber network between New York and Chicago. The network expansion was deployed using the shortest-path routes and advanced electronics to enable high-speed transaction rates with very low transmission delays.

The new route offers aggregate bandwidth of multiple 40 Gbps connections to accommodate growing traffic volume generated by hedge funds, investment brokers, financial exchanges and other market participants. Currently, more than 80 Gbps of live financial trading traffic is being carried over the new route.

In addition to the recent network expansion, Level 3 has also collaborated with financial services customers to design custom, low-latency network services to select trading venues throughout North America and Europe. Level 3 noted that it now offers direct connections to 15 financial exchanges, 15 electronic communications networks and seven market data centers.

Firetide Debuts 900 MHz Non-Line-of-Sight Mesh Wireless

Firetide introduced a non-line-of-sight, 900 MHz wireless "Smart Adaptive" mesh solution aimed at utilities, public safety, transportation and industrial applications wherever clear line-of-sight cannot be obtained. The new HotPort 6000-900 can be used to deploy multi-hop, fully meshed networks and delivers throughput of up to 26 Mbps, depending on line of sight conditions.

Firetide said its HotPort 6000-900 mesh is uniquely designed for noisy 900 MHz spectrum and leverages Smart Adaptive Mesh technology to mitigate the effects of interference that typically bring down wireless throughput and reliability in this band. For example, Firetide's noise-aware data path and noise filtering algorithms enable mesh to better handle interference from other 900 MHz devices, as well as from adjacent frequency bands taken up by cellular and 3G traffic. Tools such as the spectrum analyzer, which is integrated into the product, allow a network administrator to remotely monitor the health of the network and take actions to further optimize the network performance.

The HotPort 6000-900 mesh is part of and fully compatible with the HotPort 6000 series of mesh nodes that provide reliable Ethernet connectivity over a high-performance, self-forming wireless mesh backbone. All HotPort nodes have multiple Ethernet ports for connecting network devices or other networks to the wireless mesh. With HotPort 6000 nodes, users can build a single infrastructure for voice, video and data traffic, dramatically reducing capital investment in the wireless backbone.

The 900 MHz product features a dual radio solution with the capability of operating in the 900 MHz spectrum on one of the radios, while operating in the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz or 4.9 GHz (public safety) frequency bands on the other. The solution is available immediately in both indoor and outdoor configurations.

NYSE Euronext Builds Ultra-Low Latency Network with Juniper Networks

NYSE Euronext has selected Juniper Networks to design a state-of-the-art, ultra-low latency core network for NYSE Euronext's new consolidated global data centers. In a press event in New York, the companies said they will pursue a simplified data center architecture that is optimized for low latency and vast scalability. The blueprint calls for collapsing multiple switching layers to reduce complexity while yielding improved efficiencies in space, power, cooling and management. Juniper estimates it can reduce network complexity and total cost of ownership by up to 52 percent in capital expenditures, up to 44 percent in power, up to 44 percent in cooling and up to 55 percent in data center rack space.

Located in the greater New York and London metropolitan areas, NYSE Euronext's two new data centers will be the primary operational infrastructure supporting several billion daily transactions and quotes across diverse asset classes and geographies, and will be instrumental in NYSE Euronext's effort to consolidate the total number of its global data centers from ten to four. Expected to be operational in 2010, the new facilities will provide much greater network scale and efficiency, with plans to utilize Juniper's Data Center Infrastructure Solutions and advanced data center fabric technology to support an unprecedented internal latency of 50 microseconds roundtrip.

The deployment will include the Juniper Networks EX Series Ethernet Switches and MX Series Ethernet Services Routers. The data center core designs are anchored by the EX8216 Ethernet Switch and uses top of rack EX2500 Ethernet Switches to provide access connectivity to the data centers' high-performance servers with 10GbE ports that deliver wire-speed throughput. NYSE Euronext also plans to leverage the advanced routing capabilities, such as MPLS network virtualization, low-latency multicast, advanced quality of service (QoS), and high availability of Juniper's family of MX Series Ethernet Services Routers.

"Juniper's simplified data center approach will allow us to deploy a complete 10 Gigabit Ethernet network with ultra-low latency at a substantial cost savings," said Steve Rubinow, executive vice president and co-global CIO of NYSE Euronext.

"Competitiveness in the global financial markets is measured in microseconds and the NYSE Euronext trading platform is one of the world's premiere high-performance networks, supporting billions of transactions each day," said Kevin Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of Juniper Networks. "The NYSE Euronext technology vision is in alignment with Juniper's next generation data center roadmap, which will lead to the creation of a single data center fabric that will deliver a quantum advance in scale, performance and simplicity, while lowering energy consumption and reducing overall operating costs."

Global Crossing Expands its EtherExtend Flex Access Service

Global Crossing's EtherExtend Flex Service is now available in 26 locations worldwide. The company recently added Houston, Sunnyvale, Singapore and Frankfurt. The service is available in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and will be available in more than 70 points of presence in these same regions, plus Latin America, by the end of 2009.

EtherExtend Flex lowers a user's cost of access and matches the access Level of Service to the application's needs. It provides a last-mile Ethernet connection to Global Crossing's end-user customer via logical connections over a physical Network-to-Network Interface with the access provider, rather than forwarding the customer's traffic over a fixed physical connection to Global Crossing.

EtherExtend Flex can be paired with Global Crossing IP VPN or Dedicated Internet Access/IP Transit services, whether managed or unmanaged. The service also can support Collaboration, Voice over Internet Protocol and other applications that utilize these transport services.

Other sites where the service is available are Hong Kong in Asia; Amsterdam, London, Milan and Paris in Europe; Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Kansas City, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. in the United States, and Toronto, Canada.

GSMA Establishes Mobile Money Exchange

The GSMA, which represents the GSM industry, has kicked off a Mobile Money Exchange initiative with the aim of helping financial services companies who are entering the mobile environment, by providing a common voice and formal business forum for business collaboration. The ethos behind the formation of the Exchange is for best practice and innovations to be highlighted and shared, both across industry and inter-industry. The Mobile Money Exchange will feature an online knowledge portal with social business networking and community functionality designed to advise and serve the interests of the mobile money industry.

Visa and Globe Telecom are the first two founding partners of the Mobile Money Exchange.

Verizon Business Enables Dynamic Management of Ethernet Networks

Verizon Business introduced a customer-controlled dynamic management capability for its Ethernet Virtual Private Line service.

The new offering, Verizon EVPL Dynamic Bandwidth, is available immediately to U.S.-based businesses and government agencies. It enables them to adjust their bandwidth requirements on an as-needed basis, and, as a result, to better leverage the low cost and simplicity of Ethernet, with the added flexibility of self-provisioned network capacity that can accommodate surges in application-bandwidth.

Verizon said EVPL Dynamic Bandwidth is aimed at large-enterprise and mid-market customers -- such as tax preparers, retailers and insurance companies -- that have seasonal requirements and intermittent bandwidth demands.

Using the Verizon Enterprise Center, a one-stop resource for customers to manage all of their Verizon services, EVPL users have desktop control over a self-service portal that allows for dynamic bandwidth provisioning and reporting. Upgrades or downgrades can be delivered within 60 minutes, modifications can be made every 24 hours, and customers can schedule upgrades in advance.

Verizon's Private IP customers also have access to similar dynamic bandwidth and reporting capabilities via the Verizon Enterprise Center. The Dynamic Bandwidth and automated monitoring features, part of the company's Application Aware suite of tools that enable increased network visibility and management, allow for bandwidth changes on demand based on the customer's needs, and provide customized reports to indicate bandwidth usage.

Proximion Adds Fiber Bragg Gratings for Patch Cord Dispersion Compensation

Proximion Fiber Systems has leveraged Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) technology to create the industry's first Patch Cord Dispersion Compensation Module (DCM-PC). The module combines continuously chirped Fiber Bragg gratings into a simple patch cord. Because service providers are already using patch cords for connecting boards within their systems, integrating the DCM into the cable eliminates the need for a separate piece of hardware for dispersion management.

Proximion said its DCM patch cord is a more cost-effective solution than using dispersion compensation fiber (DCF). The patch cord provides the same functionality as DCF or traditional DCMs while replacing dedicated and costly terminal floor space needed to house hardware or DCF spools. Moreover, the DCM-PC connects one board to another, consequently replacing the need for two additional patch cords.

The DCM-PC is available in different flavors that tightly control the dispersion from -1300 to +1300 ps/nm over a 6.5 nm wide band. Commercial availability is expected in Q3.