Thursday, July 16, 2009

NTT Com to Offer Wide-area Ethernet via Broadband

NTT Communications is launching a wide-area Ethernet service for enterprise customers across Japan that uses inexpensive broadband IP access lines. The service, named Group-Ether, is a best-effort service offering low-cost nationwide network coverage by taking advantage of broadband access lines that NTT Com's sister companies NTT East and NTT West provide with certain versions of their FLET'S-branded Internet access services. The service launches this week.

Group-Ether provides a Layer 2 connectivity, giving users flexibility in choosing their network's design and communications protocol. NTT Com will provide one-stop service covering applications, billing and troubleshooting, as well as FLET'S access line, dedicated converter and network. The service fee will vary depending on the type of service, bandwidth and access line. In the case of a Main-Category service type using Economy Plan bandwidth and a FLET'S Hikari Next Family Type access line, the monthly service fee will be 18,900 yen (tax included).

NTT Com already offers a wide-area Ethernet service, named e-VLAN, with guaranteed quality and burstable bandwidth, suited to large facilities requiring high-end network performance. The addition of Group-Ether will give customers a relatively low-cost alternative for smaller offices and facilities where network requirements are less demanding. Offices will be able to interconnect their e-VLAN and Group-Ether networks from the third quarter of 2009.

HP Acquires IBRIX to Extend Scale-out Storage Capabilities

HP has agreed to acquire IBRIX, a leading provider of enterprise-class file serving software that includes data protection, high-availability features and data management services for extreme scale-out, cloud and high-performance computing deployments. Financial terms were not disclosed.

IBRIX's solutions allow enterprises to scale their storage to tens of petabytes. The data management capability of IBRIX's Fusion software suite also allows customers to seamlessly add capacity as their data or performance needs grow. IBRIX's software is currently available with HP StorageWorks storage area networks (SANs), HP ProLiant servers, HP BladeSystem, and HP ProCurve Ethernet switches and management software.

Founded in 2000, and an HP partner for three years, IBRIX is privately held and headquartered in Billerica, Mass. It has 53 employees and more than 175 enterprise customers spanning the communications, media, entertainment, Internet, oil and gas, healthcare, life sciences, and financial services markets.

Verizon Business Wins J.D. Power and Associates Award for Enterprise Voice

J.D. Power and Associates, which recently gave Verizon Business a leading ranking for customer satisfaction among large-enterprise data service customers, has now ranked Verizon Business highest in overall customer satisfaction among large-enterprise voice services providers.

Respondents to J.D. Power and Associates' 2009 Major Provider Business Telecommunications Study - Voice Services determined that Verizon Business sets the benchmark for five of the six factors used to measure customer satisfaction: performance and reliability, sales representatives/account executives, billing, cost of service, and offerings and promotions. Verizon Business' overall score of 684 on a scale of 1,000 was 22 points higher than the large-enterprise segment average score, and the company ranked particularly high in both the offerings and promotions and billing factors.

Horry Telephone Selects Occam

Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC) of South Carolina will expand its deployment of Occam Networks' DSL technology as part of its strategy to push greater bandwidth capability deeper into the network. HTC utilizes Occam's BLC 6000 multi service access platform (MSAP) and remote terminal cabinets (RTC) for delivery of DSL based broadband and lifeline POTS in its service area. To extend broadband availability to select unserved rural areas, HTC plans to deploy additional BLC 6000 equipment and RTC cabinets deeper into its network, thereby continuing to shorten loop lengths.

HTC and HTC Communications operate more than 96,000 access lines and serve both business and residential customers.

Internet Society: IPv6 is Next Big Step

The Internet Society, in collaboration with the Asia Pacific IPv6 Task Force and the Malaysian National Advanced IPv6 Centre of Excellence, the INET Asia Regional Conference, is hosting a conference in Kuala Lumpur this week under the theme "IPv6: The next step". The high-level event seeks to build awareness that the free pool of IPv4 addresses will be depleted within a couple of years and that the need to increase deployment of the far more abundant IPv6 addresses is growing everyday.

"The technical community has been pushing for the move to IPv6 for many years now," explained Rajnesh Singh, manager of the Internet Society's Regional Bureau for Asia. "In the last year or so, the need to deploy IPv6 has become an issue that has received widespread media and public attention, and the level of awareness on IPv4 to IPv6 transition issues has now become mainstream."

A high-level event such this highlights the potential for business, industry, and governments in this region to show strong leadership in the next stage of global IPv6 The INET Asia Regional Conference is on 20 July 2009, at the Berjaya Times Square Hotel and Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 09:00 -- 17:50 (UTC+8).

IEEE Develops First Ethernet Standard (P802.3az)for Power Reduction

The IEEE 802.3 Working Group has advanced the IEEE P802.3az Energy-Efficient Ethernet standard to Working Group ballot. The standard project is now on plan to meet its target September 2010 approval as a standard by the IEEE-SA Standards Board.

IEEE P802.3az will be known by its full name of "IEEE Standard for Information Technology - Telecommunications and Information Exchange Between Systems - Local and Metropolitan Area Networks - Specific Requirements Part 3: Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) Access Method and Physical Layer Specifications - Amendment: Media Access Control Parameters, Physical Layers and Management Parameters for Energy-Efficient Ethernet."

When completed, the project will extend the existing IEEE Std 802.3 Ethernet standard to facilitate transition to and from lower power consumption in response to changes in network demand for twisted-pair and backplane PHYs. IEEE P802.3az will provide end-users with the ability to reduce energy used by network equipment.

"This is the first project in the history of Ethernet aimed specifically at reducing energy use," says Michael Bennett, Senior Network Engineer, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Chair, IEEE P802.3az, Energy Efficient Ethernet Task Force. "IT managers are faced with ongoing pressures to balance energy use and reduce energy costs. Reaching this milestone is an important step towards providing network designers with additional tools to reduce energy consumption."

"Market pressure and legislative action worldwide are demanding improvements in the energy efficiency of networked systems," says David Law, Consultant Engineer, 3Com and Chair for the IEEE 802.3 Working Group. "The capabilities provided by the IEEE P802.3az extension will be important as Ethernet becomes an enabler for low-duty cycle, consumer-class applications. Additionally it will enable new system-level energy management techniques that will save energy beyond the network interface."

Solara Launches Global, 2-Way Handheld Interactive Satellite Text Messenger

Solara Remote Data Delivery released an interactive text messenger with automatic GPS tracking and 2-way communications from anywhere on Earth. The Solara Field Tracker 2100 operates over the Iridium satellite network, making it the only handheld device with on-screen interactive text messaging and GPS tracking with truly global coverage.

The Field Tracker 2100 puts automatic position reporting, bidirectional text messaging, GPS utility functions and an intuitive 2-way Emergency Alert notification system into the palm of the hand with this small, lightweight unit. The Field Tracker 2100 incorporates an Iridium Short Burst Data (SBD) modem, making its reliable, two-way, low-latency Iridium-based service available globally. Built-in power saving features allow users to simply turn it on and let it run automatically for days, even weeks, depending on the user's configuration choices. The comprehensive 2-way Emergency Alert notification system uniquely communicates the nature and severity of an emergency.

The secure, online Web-based client interface for the Field Tracker 2100 includes tracking of multiple units with online maps, reading and sending text messages to individual Field Tracker 2100 units and the ability to broadcast to multiple units. Forwarding of text messages by email and automated telephone contact anywhere in the world are standard features of the Solara Web-based client interface. Units can be remotely controlled, including changing the time interval between position message transmissions.

Nokia Sells its Symbian Professional Services Group to Accenture

Accenture has agreed to acquire Nokia's Symbian Professional Services unit, which is responsible for Symbian OS customer engineering and customer support. The unit provides engineering consulting and product development services on a global basis to mobile phone manufacturers, as well as chip manufacturers and mobile operators.

Services provided by the Symbian Professional Services teams include advanced technical support, techniques for enhancing performance, memory, and power, advanced error diagnosis and repair, and turnkey software development services that can be used in a range of technical environments.

Approximately 165 people will transfer to Accenture as a result of the agreement. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of third quarter 2009.

"The acquisition of the Symbian professional services unit will enhance Accenture's existing embedded software, product-development and testing skills to help players in the mobile solutions ecosystem address ever-more-demanding time-to-market and quality requirements," said Jean Laurent Poitou, managing director of Accenture's Electronics & High Tech industry group. "The capabilities we are acquiring from Nokia will help support the tremendous growth our clients can expect from the explosive adoption of converged mobile multimedia services and will expand Accenture's role as a key supplier of new tools, products and solutions to clients in this industry."

Extreme Networks Sees Revenue in Line With Analyst Estimates

Extreme Networks expects to report revenue between $79 million and $81 million for the quarter ended June 28, 2009 and a cash and investments balance as of that date of approximately $127 million. Earnings will be announced on July 30, 2009.

The company also today announced that Karen M. Rogge, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, has tendered her resignation in order to pursue other opportunities. She will be replaced by Bob L. Corey.

Verizon Wireless Introduces Novatel 2-in-1 PC Data Card

Verizon Wireless and Novatel Wireless introduced the PC770 2-in-1 PC Card and Express Card that provides access to Verizon Wireless' Mobile Broadband service
(EV-DO Rev. A) and that includes an adapter so it can be used with an ExpressCard or a PC peripheral interface slot. This helps users make the transition from PC Cards to the newer ExpressCard format.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Orange Business Selected by German Foreign Office, Zurich

Orange Business Services has won a Europe-wide tender issued by the German Foreign Office. The five-year agreement includes a terrestrial wide area network (WAN) for 180 sites worldwide, WAN connection via satellite (operated by Satlynx and Orange) for an additional 50 sites, consulting and voice services, as well as an extensive service management package. The new contract represents an 85 percent increase in contract value compared to the previous agreement.

In addition, Zurich Insurance Company (Zurich), one of the leading global insurance-based financial services providers, has renewed its outsourcing contract with Orange Business Services for three additional years. Since 2003, Orange has been managing Zurich's telecom and network services across Europe. Orange is providing mobile voice and data services to more than 5,000 Zurich employees paired with Blackberry services for another 3,000 users. Fully managed global video conferencing solutions such as Telepresence and HD video were just recently added to the service catalog, another way Zurich can take full advantage of its converged IP network.

Charter Files Amended Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Plan

Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, filed an amended pre-arranged Joint Plan of Reorganization (the "Amended Plan") with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

"Since filing our initial pre-arranged plan, we have been working constructively with our creditors and other stakeholders and appreciate their ongoing support. Throughout this process, Charter has maintained its focus on enhancing all aspects of our customers' experience and looks forward to continuing to meet their communications needs in the future," stated Neil Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer.

BT's Openreach Selects Trimble to Manage Mobile Workforce of 17,000

Openreach, the UK-based local access network division of BT Group, will be implementing the full range of Trimble's Mobile Resource Management (MRM) solutions across its fleet of 17,000 mobile field engineers.

Trimble Performance Manager is an alerting and business intelligence application that complements Trimble's Taskforce scheduling and GeoManager tracking solutions. Trimble Performance Manager compares the real-time activities of field teams against planned and scheduled events and provides alerts, analysis and business intelligence to improve short and long-term performance in a variety of areas, including day-to-day activities of the mobile workforce, customer service, cost management, and strategic planning. The benefits also include reduced travel times resulting in lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

JDSU Completes Acquisition of Finisar's Network Tools Business

JDSU completed its acquisition of the Network Tools business of Finisar Corporation. The company said the acquisition established it the world's leading provider of storage area network (SAN) protocol test tools, software and services.

"This acquisition provides JDSU with unique capabilities to address the SAN test market's best growth opportunities, such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet," said Dave Holly, president of JDSU's Communications Test and Measurement business segment. "We welcome the Network Tools team to JDSU and look forward to combining our respective strengths to deliver test innovation for the benefit of our customers."

The Network Tools business, currently headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA, includes more than 100 employees worldwide. Upon close of the transaction, Network Tools will form the Storage Network Test unit in the Instrument Business Division of JDSU's Communications Test and Measurement business segment. Dave Buse will continue to lead the business, reporting to Jerry Gentile, general manager of JDSU's Instrument Business Division.

Boeing Signs 4-Satellite Contract with Intelsat

Intelsat has selected Boeing to build four telecommunication satellites based on its 702B satellite series. Financial details were not disclosed.

Under the contract, the four Boeing-built geostationary satellites, Intelsat 21, Intelsat 22, and two spacecraft yet to be named, will offer C- and Ku-band capacity optimized to distribute video, network and voice services from Asia and Africa to the Americas and Europe. In April, Intelsat announced its IS-22 satellite will include an Ultra-High Frequency government-hosted payload that will serve the Australian Defence Force.

Boeing's 702B, an evolution of the Boeing 702 satellite, operates in the medium-level power ranges, with six to 12 kilowatts of onboard power and a more flexible, modular design that maintains the spacecraft's advanced technologies.

Raytheon Wins $155M DARPA Contract to Develop Radio Network Gateway

Raytheon was awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to provide a cost-effective, highly capable military wireless network interoperable gateway. The contract provides Raytheon $24.4 million for one year. Options would extend the contract to 2012 and bring the potential value to $155 million.

The Mobile Ad-Hoc Interoperability GATEway, or MAINGATE, will integrate any combination of heterogeneous military, civil or coalition radios into a single network to facilitate communication among disparate systems.

Raytheon said the unique architecture of its MAINGATE system allows for many more users to join the network at the same time and enables more than 30 different military and civil radios to communicate with one another while concurrently providing a high-capacity, mobile network. One of the key technologies used in the system's development is Raytheon's Mobile Ad-Hoc Networking protocols. These MANET protocols enable the MAINGATE system to be mobile, allow nodes to join or leave the network and scale to a very large numbers of systems.

Belgium's Telenet selects Alcatel-Lucent for MVNO Project

Telenet, a leading provider of media and telecommunications services in Flanders, selected Alcatel-Lucent as overall network integrator for a mobile MVNO (mobile virtual network operator) project. Under a 7-year frame agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will be the overall integrator of the full mobile core, and of the value added service network components. As part of the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will be responsible for the supply, installation, integration, operation and maintenance of Telenet's next generation mobile core network and service creation infrastructure. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Telenet offers cable television, high speed internet and fixed and mobile telephony services, primarily to residential customers in Flanders and Brussels. In addition, Telenet offers services to business customers across Belgium under the brand Telenet Solutions.

AT&T Implements LED Lighting to Improve Eco Efficiency

As part of its rebranding efforts over the last few years, AT&T replaced over 7,000 channel letter signs on more than 6,500 AT&T office buildings and retail locations. In doing so, AT&T has been installing the energy-efficient, long-life GE Tetra LED lighting system. The company calculates that it will save more than 5.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity year and eliminate 3,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually -- the equivalent of planting more than 950 acres of trees. The GE LEDs are up to 80 percent more energy efficient than commonly used neon.

Covad Evolves Access Network with DS3, Bonded T1, QoS

Covad Communications completed the next phase of its broader network transformation strategy by building out its access portfolio with the introduction of DS3 service for performance-intensive applications and enterprise connectivity, as well as higher-bandwidth bonded T1 offerings up to 12.0 Mbps. Covad DS3 service provides symmetrical speeds up to 35 Mbps and are available nationwide. The bonded T1 offerings provide up to 12.0 Mbps of symmetrical bandwidth to meet the demanding broadband needs of small businesses and distributed enterprises, further addressing the gap between T1 and DS3 offerings.

Covad has also introduced network-wide Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities to enable partners to layer on value-added services and applications. Covad has introduced five levels of broadband QoS, each with predefined network priority settings, delivery targets, and latency levels--for example, QoS with reduced jitter for VoIP, or QoS with lowest possible latency for mission-critical, real-time applications. Partners can pair the appropriate QoS level with a specific application to ensure their customers are getting optimal performance levels.

"Covad is rapidly evolving its network to create an intelligent broadband services platform that our partners can use to expand their offerings, reach more customers, and increase revenues," says Young-Sae Song, Vice President of Marketing for Covad Wholesale. "Covad's application-aware network capabilities allow our partners to customize network performance for specific applications, like VoIP, video conferencing, and software as a service (SaaS)."

In February, Covad completed a nationwide MPLS deployment and network capacity upgrades that included metro optical rings with up to OC-192 (10 Gbps) capacity.

Alcatel-Lucent Debuts 100 GigE Edge Intelligence

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface and a 10-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet interface, both with massive queuing, classification and traffic management capabilities, for its 7750 Service Router and 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS). Operators who have deployed Alcatel-Lucent service routers since 2004 can add the new line cards and immediately multiply capacity up to 100 Gbps per slot , double the current 50 Gbps maximum.

The new 100 Gigabit Ethernet capabilities are enabled by Alcatel-Lucent's custom FP2 chipset (launched July 2008), which is capable of sophisticated and optimized network processing and traffic management at speeds up to 100 Gbps. The FP2 chipset integrates 112 array cores for 95,000 MIPs performance and is implemented in 90nm process technology. The silicon was developed in house.

Alcatel-Lucent's FP2 silicon innovations and enhancements in thermal efficiency reduce power consumption to levels approaching four watts per gigabit with the new 100 Gigabit Ethernet interface modules, a significant improvement compared to the 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit alternatives widely deployed today.

Alcatel-Lucent said the edge of service provider network is where most of the intelligence in the network resides, and where determinations should be made about how individual services, such as high-definition video, need to be handled to ensure an optimal experience for end-users. The traffic management capabilities of the FP2 chipset could enable "high touch" edge & metro services via a single 100GigE customer-facing port or high-densities of 10 GigE ports. For instance, massively scalable queuing on the new interface cards could be used to guarantee real-time video and voice application delivery. One 7750 Service Router could support 160,000 users @ 6.25 Mbps sustained per-user, each with 8 queues.

Alcatel-Lucent noted that other 100 Gbps announcements for other vendors have been limited to core IP transport.

The new line cards will be available for demonstrations in 4Q 2009 and commercially in mid-2010.

Alcatel-Lucent has shipped more than 35,000 IP/MPLS service router portfolio systems since 2004, resulting in an installed base of more than 270 service provider customers in 100+ countries.