Thursday, June 25, 2009

AT&T Teams with TDC for Services in Nordics

AT&T announced a partnership with TDC to jointly develop and deploy global service bundles and networking solutions for multinational companies, either headquartered or doing business in the Nordics. The deal combines TDC's portfolio, resources and coverage with AT&T's complementary portfolio of services and intelligent, highly-secure global networking platform.

TDC is the leading provider of communications solutions in Denmark and a strong player in the Nordic business market.

AT&T will also use its expanded agreement with IBM to develop and deploy solutions to companies in the Nordics. TDC will play a key role in helping AT&T to transition network management services for these customers to the new arrangement with AT&T.

KT Achieves Seamless Wibro/3G/Wi-Fi Handovers with Stoke

KT successfully performed uninterrupted handover of a mobile data session between 3G, Wi-Fi, and WiBRO/WiMAX networks. The results were achieved by integrating software developed by KT Central R&D Laboratory, and Stoke's SSX-3000 mobile broadband access gateway. The solution uses MOBIKE, a standard protocol defined by the IETF that enables secure connection management while the mobile device changes access networks. The implementation is an overlay solution that does not require reconfiguring or changing any of the intermediary network elements -- no matter which wireless networks are involved.

"We explored a number of different techniques for achieving media-independent handover. In the end, Stoke's SSX-3000 Multi-Network Mobility Anchor capabilities, together with KT's own client software, enabled uninterrupted video, VoIP, and file transfer on a laptop while driving at 60Km/hour, managing sessions between WiBro & HSPA networks," said Hyung-Keun Ryu, Director, Wireless Technology Department at KT. "The SSX-3000 Mobility Anchor is purpose-designed to deliver very large volumes of secure subscriber sessions over different access networks and, with its high capacity throughput and small form factor, is ideally suited for this requirement."

Stoke said its Multi-Network Mobility Anchor provides operators the means to ensure a seamless user experience while optimizing traffic demand and costs across all of the wireless networks available to subscribers. This capability will improve the user experience by using the best available connection, improve broadband service coverage at a very low cost to the operator, and can improve operator data services profitability by offloading their cellular infrastructure."

"Mobile data subscribers care more about being connected than which network they are using, but currently they are forced to notice since their services are interrupted as they move," said Vikash Varma, president and CEO of Stoke. "For operators to rely on a single network to ensure total coverage does not make sense technically or financially. These trials demonstrate to operators that a major barrier to convergence has been removed and signals that KT's convergence capabilities are placing KT at the forefront of mobile data services."

Huawei Launches Huge Optical Cross-Connect

Huawei Technologies unveiled its enhanced optical transport network (OTN) solution -- the OSN 8800, featuring a record cross-connect capacity of 2.56 Tbps, with the potential of a further upgrade to 5.12 Tbps.

The OSN 8800 offers VC-x (Virtual Container), ODUk (Optical Data Unit), future-oriented packet services and cross-connection capabilities.

Huawei said the optical-layer and electrical-layer ASON abilities of the platform will significantly increase reliability in transporting services across different granularities and contribute to the reduction of operating expenditure. Support for 40 G and 100 G transmissions is available.

Huawei Opens LTE Incubator Laboratory in Japan

Huawei Technologies has launched a Long Term Evolution (LTE) lab in Tokyo, Japan. The lab will both serve as an incubator for LTE technologies and a training facility for the implementation and commercialization of the next-generation wireless technology. Huawei' s research and development teams will also be able to work with Japanese operators to conduct rigorous test on LTE systems before delivery.

Huawei's LTE lab in Tokyo includes the latest testing facilities and a real-world environment in which tests such as peak throughput, latency, multi-users, quality of service (QoS), handover, Element-level Management System (EMS) operation and Self-Organizing Network (SON) can be conducted. The lab' s downlink data rate at application layer can reach 140 Mbps through a single remote radio unit (RRU) with 20 Mhz bandwidth. It is also equipped with Huawei' s fourth-generation DBS3900 base station and the latest versions of commercial LTE software and test terminals.

NTT Com Partners with BSNL

NTT Communications (NTT Com) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. (BSNL), India's largest telecommunications company, signed a partnership agreement with the basic aim of providing customers with better services. NTT Com intends to expand the reach and quality of its local services to help multinational customers develop their businesses in India.

To date, NTT Com has provided networking, system integration and other IT services to multinational enterprises operating in the Indian market. In particular, networking services have been growing in recent years as multinationals move beyond urban areas and expand into rural areas, creating needs for NTT Com to expand its reach and enhance service quality.

BSNL is 100% owned by the government of India. In addition to its domestic network, it also provides global managed MPLS network, cellular phone and internet services.

Telecom Liechtenstein Selects Nortel for UCS

Telecom Liechtenstein is modernizing its internal communications infrastructure with a Unified Communications (UC) solution provided by Microsoft and Nortel. Specifically, Nortel is integrating Microsoft's Office Communications Server (OCS) environment with the company's existing Nortel voice communication infrastructure to enable unified communications applications that will simplify and speed up business operations, improve the way employees communicate and enhance customer service. The new system will enable the 130 employees of Telecom Liechtenstein in Vaduz to determine whether colleagues they wish to contact are available, and then instantly make phone calls, start conference calls and send e-mails and instant messages through a simple mouse 'click' on their desktop.

The new unified communications network will also allow employees to securely access the Telecom Liechtenstein corporate network via mobile devices to retrieve information and respond more quickly to enquiries. In a second phase of this implementation, Telecom Liechtenstein plans to offer a hybrid network unified communications solution to enterprise customers in Liechtenstein, Austria and Switzerland.

Nortel also provided system integration services to support implementing Microsoft's Office Communications Server environment with the Telecom Liechtenstein network upgrade.

Germany's E-Plus Offers Subscriber Discounts for Targeted Mobile Ads

Germany's E-Plus, a member of the KPN group, is now offering discounts to mobile subscribers willing to receive targeted advertising. Through a mobile advertising subsidiary, called Gettings, E-Plus' consumers can choose between three packages - S, M and L - where they will receive between 10 and 25 mobile ads per week in exchange for free call minutes, free SMS messages or vouchers. The Advertising Selection Server enables users to provide their preferences so they receive only mobile ads that interest them -- both enhancing
their experience and providing advertisers with a higher value, more targeted campaign.

The service is enabled using Alcatel-Lucent's newly launched Advertising Selection Server, a hosted service that leverages advanced targeting algorithms and enables advertisers to deliver targeted mobile advertising campaigns on an opt-in basis.

"Mobile advertising is an additional revenue stream that will help us continue to provide mobile communication services at especially attractive rates," says Daniel Euler, managing director of E-Plus' Gettings. "Advertising must not be perceived as a nuisance, however. It only works if the messages suit the recipients' interests. The hosted Advertising Selection Server, offered by Alcatel-Lucent, truly delivers in that regard and also works well with our existing system landscape."

The Advertising Selection Server provides mobile service providers with a single platform that is able to deliver via SMS, MMS and WAP a mix of push and pull targeted advertising campaigns tailored to an individual subscribers' opt in preferences. The Advertising Selection Server also
offers a unique interface for inventory and campaign management and acts as a single front-end for advertising players and features a suite of APIs for tight integration with third party services, profiling, and billing systems. The Advertising Selection Server is generally available worldwide as a turnkey product as well as a hosted service.

Octasic Appoints New CEO

Robert Blake has taken the helm of Octasic, succeeding Michel Laurence, co-founder and retiring CEO of Octasic.

Until recently, Blake served as vice president of consumer and automotive business at Altera Corporation, where he was responsible for defining the programmable logic product portfolio. Prior to Altera, he developed ASIC technology at LSI Logic and Fairchild, where he worked in both engineering and strategic marketing positions.

Octasic's recent introduction of its Vocallo DSP family is based on Opus, an innovative clock-less DSP core technology targeted at the media gateway and Software Defined Radio (SDR) macro cell market.

AT&T to Provide Managed Data Network and Security Services to Amtrak

Amtrak awarded a new five-year outsourcing agreement to AT&T to provide a package of telecommunications networking services, including managed security services to help protect Amtrak's telecommunications network infrastructure.

AT&T will implement and manage Amtrak's Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) and Enhanced Virtual Private Network (EVPN) to help connect more than 400 locations and converge multiple networks to a single, global network platform. AT&T will also manage 25,000 ports across Amtrak's LAN and WLAN. These technology solutions will help Amtrak to simplify the management of its telecommunications and support its efforts to deliver value to its customers faster.

Eutelsat Offers Services in Germany's State of Brandenburg

The German state of Brandenburg will include Eutelsat's satellite broadband services as part of its "Broadband supply for rural areas" programme to bridge the digital divide.

Eutelsat will provide its Tooway satellite broadband service to all interested households and small companies at a monthly EUR 39.95 cost for a 24-month subscription, equipment included.

The service is totally independent of telephone lines and offers an ADSL-comparable service, including speeds to users of 3.6 Mbps and uplink speeds of 384 kbps. Tooway will be provided in Brandenburg via skyDSL and dsl2u.

Panasonic Names Eisuke Tsuyuzaki as CTO

Panasonic Corporation of North America named Eisuke Tsuyuzaki as its new Chief Technology Officer, replacing Dr. Paul Liao, who is leaving Panasonic to become President and CEO of CableLabs. Mr. Tsuyuzaki has served as Managing Director of Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory since 2005. In this capacity, he directed Panasonic's next-generation entertainment R&D activities in the U.S., especially in the Blu-ray Disc format and 3D Full HD TV areas, and deepened the company's relationships with the Hollywood studios and creative community. Before joining Panasonic, Mr. Tsuyuzaki held leadership positions in corporate development and technology functions at Sony Corporation and Sony Pictures Entertainment.

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.