Thursday, August 13, 2009

Verizon Wireless Launches Mobile App Development Contest

Verizon Wireless is launching a mobile application development contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Developers can submit applications in five categories -- Connect, Entertain, Guide, Save Time, and Enhance Living -- which highlight the wide range of activities, information, entertainment and other cool things developers can bring to mobile phones. Verizon encourages developers who have been creating apps for other platforms such as Java, BREW, Android, Windows Mobile and others to enter the Apply Your Ideas contest. Applications must be new to the BlackBerry wireless platform and work on BlackBerry Storm smartphones to be eligible to win. Members of the Verizon Developer Community (VDC) will choose the category winners and the People's Choice winner from among the applications submitted. The Grand Prize winner, chosen from among the category winners by a panel of judges, will take home $50,000; 200 percent of the application's revenue for a year (to a maximum of actual revenue plus $100,000); and a featured spot at the launch of the V CAST Apps storefront.

Qwest Selected for Colorado Telehealth Network

The Colorado Hospital Association (CHA) and the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council (CBHC) have selected Qwest Communications (NYSE: Q) to provide high-speed broadband services that will link nearly 400 of the state's urban and rural health care and behavioral health providers, and facilitate telemedicine access. Once complete, the Colorado Telehealth Network will be the among the largest health care information networks in the United States.

Qwest will manage metro optical Ethernet and data networking technology to provide a secure, reliable, scalable voice and data platform to health care providers of all sizes, enabling them to share critical medical information over large distances, control costs and reduce patient travel time, thereby providing a better patient care experience. Colorado Telehealth Network will connect into Qwest's national fiber-optic network , providing patients -- especially those in rural areas--with state-of-the-art, long-distance medical care using speeds up to 100 Mbps.

"Too many rural communities are isolated from many of the advanced diagnosis and treatment technologies available in urban areas," said CHA President and CEO Steven J. Summer. "The Colorado Telehealth Network, when implemented, will enable Coloradans to receive the right care, at the right place and at the right time."

"The Colorado Telehealth Network will promote better health in many ways, while greatly reducing the need for rural residents to travel long distances to receive quality care," said George DelGrosso, executive director of the Colorado Behavioral Healthcare Council. "This innovative system will save lives and scarce health care resources."

The Colorado Telehealth Network is funded by two awards from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). An FCC award to CHA provides up to $4.6 million in federal funds over three years. When combined with a similar award to CBHC, $9.8 million will be available for the initiative. In addition, a 15 percent match from participating health care providers will supplement the program. CHA and CBHC expect that the Colorado Telehealth Network will connect approximately 70 percent of the 388 eligible facilities by the end of the year and will complete connectivity in early 2010.

Comstar Enhances its Transport Network in Moscow Region

Russia's COMSTAR announced the activation backbone support ring of its transport telecommunications network in the Moscow region. The total length of the NGN network's new fibre-optic lines connecting the ring's telecommunications facilities exceeds 180 km. The transport network's support ring consists of 11 backbone nodes and includes 44 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports and 264 Fast Ethernet ports. The overall investment in the project amounted to over RUR 111 million (US$ 3.4 million).

Ditech Networks Joins VoLGA Forum

Ditech Networks has joined the Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA) Forum, which promotes an approach for extending traditional GSM and UMTS services over Long Term Evolution (LTE) access networks. Based on the existing 3GPP Generic Access Network (GAN) standard, solutions based on VoLGA are designed to enable mobile subscribers to receive a consistent set of voice, SMS and other services as they transition between GSM, UMTS and LTE access networks.

Ditech Networks provides voice processing solutions, including voice quality enhancement and Voice 2.0 applications.

Brazil's GlobeNet Boosts Submarine Cable to 360 Gbps

GlobeNet, a subsidiary of Oi (formerly Brasil Telecom), has begun a major upgrade of its submarine fiber-optic cable system. Upon completion, the network upgrade will enable 360 Gbps of capacity. The company, which currently operates in the U.S., Brazil, Bermuda and Venezuela, is upgrading the submarine network based on ongoing customer demand to the region as well as forecasted growth in regional traffic.

GlobeNet's submarine system spans more than 22,000 kilometers, connecting Brazil, Bermuda, Venezuela and the United States. As a result, the company analyzes and forecasts international traffic patterns and demand in order to service these core markets. Based on its strategic market analysis, GlobeNet embarked on its current network upgrade to 360 Gbps to ensure its readiness to service its existing customers' needs as well as secure new opportunities in the region. The current upgrade will bring to market a total of 360 Gbps; however, the current DWDM technology utilized will have a total lit capacity of approximately 1.92 Tbps.

Verizon Wireless Activates LTE 4G Test Sites in Boston and Seattle

Verizon Wireless completed its first Long Term Evolution (LTE) data calls based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard. The successful data calls involved streaming video, file uploads and downloads, and Web browsing. Significantly, Verizon Wireless has successfully made data calls using VoIP to enable voice transmissions over the LTE 4G network.

Verizon Wireless currently has 10 LTE 4G cell sites up and running on the 700 MHz spectrum in both Boston and Seattle. The first test data calls have been completed on both the Boston and Seattle networks using commercial grade infrastructure platforms. Technology partners helping to enable data calls in these initial markets include Alcatel-Lucent (Boston) and Ericsson (Seattle) for base station/radio access network, LG and Samsung for trial devices, and Starent Networks and Nokia Siemens Networks for network equipment. Devices from LG and Samsung will soon be supplemented by devices from ST-Ericsson, Motorola and Qualcomm.

Tony Melone, senior vice president and chief technical officer at Verizon Wireless, said, "Verizon Wireless, with outstanding cooperation from our partner suppliers, is fully committed to harnessing the power of LTE over our 700 MHz spectrum. This combination of state-of-the-art technology and prime spectrum will soon make a ubiquitous, highly mobile, super-fast broadband experience a reality for customers. This significant milestone in our LTE 4G network testing, exemplified by the first data calls in Boston and Seattle, further validates our early support and decision to select LTE as the standard for our next-generation wireless broadband network."

Verizon Wireless expects to commercially launch its LTE 4G network in up to 30 markets in 2010, covering 100 million people. In subsequent years, an equally aggressive growth plan will result in full nationwide coverage in 2013.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Sonus Announces 10% Workforce Reduction

Sonus Networks announced plans to cut its workforce by approximately 93 people, or 10% of employees worldwide. The company expects to incur restructuring charges for severance and related costs of approximately $1.4 million to $1.9 million on a pre-tax basis in the third quarter of fiscal 2009 in connection with this action and anticipates annual compensation-related cash savings of approximately $9.4 million to $10.3 million as a result of this restructuring initiative.

"This is the final phase of the restructuring initiative we began at the end of last year with the goal of re-aligning our business to market needs and opportunities," commented Richard Nottenburg, president and chief executive officer of Sonus Networks.

Verizon Offers Security for Health Care Industry

Verizon announced two new capabilities designed to help safeguard the growing exchange of electronic patient data between hospitals, clinics, physicians, insurers and patients.

The first offering, Verizon Security Management Program-Health Care (SMP-H), enables health care organizations to proactively assess the strength of security measures and practices. It also helps organizations, through an easy-to-use online dashboard, track security efforts against federal and industry-specific security guidelines, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

The second new offering is a suite of IT consulting services that help health care providers design and implement safe security practices for sharing information and storing data. The new consulting capabilities include assessment, review, validation and certification services based on the Common Security Framework, a set of industry security standards developed by the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST). The alliance is a consortium of health care, business, technology and information security organizations created to spur the electronic flow of information throughout the health care system.

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints Ken Wirth as President, 4G/LTE Wireless Networks

Alcatel-Lucent has appointed Ken Wirth as President of 4G/LTE Wireless Networks. He replaces Mary Chan who has decided to leave the company to pursue opportunities outside of the telecom network infrastructure segment.

"LTE is a cornerstone of Alcatel-Lucent's strategy and as our customers take different evolutionary paths to 4G, I'm confident that Ken's strong customer relationships as well as his management, operations and leadership experience are the right combination of skills to further strengthen our leadership in delivering comprehensive business, technical and operational solutions for our customers," said Ben Verwaayen, Alcatel-Lucent's CEO.

ILS Proton Successfully Launches AsiaSat 5 Satellite

A new AsiaSat 5 satellite was successfully launched into orbit on an ILS Proton from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on behalf of Asia Satellite Telecommunications Company Limited (AsiaSat) of Hong Kong.

Built by Space Systems/Loral, AsiaSat 5 will replace AsiaSat 2 at the orbital location of 100.5 degrees East. This new satellite with an enhanced pan Asian C-band footprint and high-power Ku-band beams over East Asia, South Asia, and an in-orbit steerable Ku beam, will provide advanced satellite services including television broadcast, telephone networks and VSAT networks for broadband multimedia services across the Asia Pacific. The satellite is based on the Space Systems/Loral 1300 platform, designed for a lifespan of 15 years.

Dell'Oro: Ethernet Switch Market Rebounds in Q2

Growth in the Ethernet Switch market during the second quarter of this year was driven by North America, where port shipments grew by roughly 20 percent sequentially, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The report also shows that 10 Gigabit Ethernet experienced the most robust growth during the quarter, with blade switches designed for the blade server market helping drive this segment. Vendors such as Cisco, Blade, Dell and HP all have Ethernet Switch offerings in this segment.

"Most vendors experienced robust growth in North America during the quarter," said Alan Weckel, Director of Ethernet Switch Market Research at Dell'Oro Group. "Despite significant growth over the past few years from emerging markets, such as Brazil, Russia, India and China, the Ethernet Switch market is still dominated by North America that accounts for almost 40 percent of port shipments and over half of the total market revenue," Weckel added.

Hibernia Atlantic Implements Native 40 Gbps Wavelengths

Hibernia Atlantic has begun offering native, 40 Gbps wavelength (WL) capacity across the Atlantic Ocean, without the need for external equipment. The upgrade has boosted the potential capacity of the Atlantic system to 10.16Tbps.

Hibernia Atlantic's first-to-market offering is in response to its North American customers' demand for greater bandwidth capacity, stemming from the precipitous rise in deployment of next-generation services, such as streaming video, IP multimedia and web conferencing. Additionally, financial exchanges and media houses need secure and high-performance capacity to ensure they are meeting their industries' critical network requirements.

Qualcomm Disputes Japanese Fair Trade Complaint

Qualcomm has received and reviewed a full translation of the draft order from the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC), which asserts that Qualcomm's Japanese licensees were forced to cross license patents to Qualcomm on a royalty-free basis and were forced to accept a provision under which licensees agreed not to assert their essential patents against each other. The draft order seeks to require Qualcomm to modify existing licenses with Japanese companies to eliminate these provisions while preserving the license of Qualcomm's patents to the Japanese companies. If Qualcomm were to eliminate these provisions as contemplated by the draft order, there is a risk that some Japanese licensees may attempt to assert their previously licensed patents against Qualcomm, its customers and its licensees.

Qualcomm said it disputes the notion that any provisions in its license agreements with Japanese companies were forced upon them. The company will submit a written response opposing the draft order within the next two weeks.

Nortel's 40G Tested on Southern Cross Submarine Cable

Nortel's 40G optical transmission technology has been tested on the ultra-long haul Southern Cross Cable systems. The Southern Cross network provides the major link for Internet traffic from Australia, New Zealand and Fiji to the US, as well as linking Hawaii to the US mainland. Nortel said the trial paves the way for a more cost-effective means for upgrading submarine networks around the world.

The first trial was conducted over a 4,200km submarine segment between California and Hawaii. The second even more demanding trial was conducted over Southern Cross' longest route, 8000km between Auckland, New Zealand and Hawaii. On both the trials Nortel equipment was simply added to both ends of the third-party submarine cable, with Nortel able to demonstrate the ability to provide over four times the bandwidth capacity without the need to replace or upgrade the submarine cable or undersea repeaters.

For shorter networks up to 450km, Nortel is working with  MPB Communications to enable carriers to upgrade their networks to 40G speeds without the need to deploy costly optical signal amplifiers - also called repeaters - along the sea floor. Unrepeatered submarine solutions are built without undersea amplification, which effectively eliminates the cost of repeaters and electrical power. Extending the reach and capacity of unrepeatered solutions provides network operators with significant CAPEX and OPEX savings.  Using powerful amplification equipment from MPB Communications paired with Nortel's  40G Adaptive Optical Engine , service providers can now deploy these "unrepeatered" undersea links at a fraction of the cost of traditional submarine networks that use powered underwater equipment.

In instances where a submarine link is required for longer distances, Nortel's 40G solution can be used with underwater repeaters. Since 2008, Nortel's existing 40G coherent solution with Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP QPSK) modulation has been deployed over underwater distances of 4,000km. Ultra-long distance connections of 9,000km are now possible through Nortel's recent development of a 40G Ultra Long Haul solution which employs coherent Dual Polarization Binary Phase Shift Keying (DP BPSK) technology that can more than double the distance that 40G traffic can travel.

Nortel also noted that it now has 49 wins to date for its 40G solution.
  • In 2008, Southern Cross upgraded its terrestrial optical network across the US West Coast with Nortel's 40G technology.

EZchip Samples NPA Network Processors for Carrier Access

EZchip Semiconductor has begun sampling its new NPA family of network processors targeting Ethernet access applications. Several models of the NPA network processors are offered with combinations of 1-Gigabit and 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, at an aggregate throughput of 10-Gigabits, with power dissipation ranging from 6 to 10 Watts and at varying price points starting at under $100.

The NPA is a scaled-down of EZchip's high-speed network processors (NPUs) and is designed for Carrier Ethernet access applications.

It is software compatible with EZchip's high-speed network processors, ensuring a common architecture and an easy path to reuse designs across edge, metro and access systems. To complement the NPA, EZchip will soon make available to its customers production-level code for a variety of applications, which will help them expedite their products' time-to-market and simplify their development efforts.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Alloptic Signs Distribution Deal with TVC Communications

Alloptic, which supplies RFoG (RF over Glass) and passive optical networking (PON) solutions, announced a distribution deal with TVC Communications, a value added distributor serving the broadband telecommunications and cable industries. Under the agreement TVC will provide Alloptic equipment to cable and broadband customers in the US and Canada. The agreement encompasses the entire Alloptic product portfolio, including EPON/GEPON systems along with its industry-leading RFoG products.

DISH Network Announces $1 Billion Debt Offering

DISH Network Corporation plans to offer approximately $1 billion aggregate principal amount of debt securities. The net proceeds of the offering are intended to be used for general corporate purposes.

Google Joins National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) Board

Google has joined the National Cyber Security Alliance's (NCSA) board of directors. Eric Davis, head of anti-malvertising, will hold Google's board of director seat.
The NCSA is a nonprofit public private partnership that brings together government, corporate, nonprofit and academic organizations to conduct public education and awareness efforts to empower a digital citizenry to use the Internet safely and securely by protecting the computers and networks they use.

The NCSA board of directors also includes executives from Cisco, McAfee, Microsoft, EMC, SAIC and Symantec.

In addition, the NCSA has launched a Web portal to encourage broad-based participation in its education and awareness activities this year.
"The theme of National Cyber Security Awareness Month this year is "Our Shared Responsibility," said Michael Kaiser, executive director of the NCSA. "We can only secure cyber space if everyone gets involved in making sure that all computer users engage in safe and secure practices to protect the computers and networks they use. October is a rallying point for everyone to get involved in educating their employees, customers, students, neighbors, friends, and family."

Motorola Takes its LTE Tour to Sweden

Motorola has taken its "LTE drive tour" to Kista, Sweden, where it is demonstrating the next generation wireless broadband technology to operators from across Scandinavia. During the drive tour, visitors will witness mobile broadband performance as well as rich media experiences on the move in an urban environment via an LTE-enabled van. The demonstration will also include hand-over between sectors and a number of demanding, bandwidth hungry video applications running over LTE - including for the first time live TV over LTE. The LTE network, which includes two Motorola LTE eNodeBs running on commercial hardware, is operating at 2.6GHz and is integrated with Motorola's backhaul and evolved packet core (EPC) products. It was deployed and optimized in just 10 days.

ShoreTel Posts 5% Annual Growth

ShoreTel reported quarterly revenue of $32.4 million, an increase of 4 percent over the previous quarter. GAAP gross margin was 63.3 percent and the GAAP net loss was $(0.7) million, or $(0.02) per share.

For its fiscal year 2009, Shoretel's revenue reached a company record at $134.8 million, an increase of 5 percent compared to fiscal year 2008 revenue of $128.7 million. GAAP net loss for the fiscal year was $(11.8) million, or $(0.27) per diluted share, compared to GAAP net income of $2.6 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, in fiscal year 2008.

The company added nearly 3,000 customers during the year, including AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and the Verizon Center, home of the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals. The company has now sold to nearly 11,000 customers worldwide and has granted user licenses to more than 1 million end users.

"Very few technology companies have been able to grow revenue during what is arguably the worst economy since the Great Depression. Our annual revenue growth of 5 percent clearly demonstrates ShoreTel's ability to sustain growth despite the weak economic environment," said John W. Combs, chief executive officer of ShoreTel. "Other positive indicators in the fourth quarter included a substantial increase in order volume, our newly announced agreement with IBM, our ability to achieve the highest levels of customer satisfaction in ShoreTel's history while at the same time efficiently cutting cost out of our business, and most importantly, the expansion of our distribution channel with the addition of two new telecommunications carriers. With these new additions, ShoreTel products and services are now being sold by all of the top three U.S. wireline telecommunications providers."