Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bharti Airtel Launches Global Wholesale Services

India's Bharti Airtel is making a bid to become a top tier, global wholesale carrier with a network that will reach 50 countries across the continents of Europe, North America, Africa, Asia and Australia. The company said it has invested of US$500 million made on building cable capacity, network infrastructure and international Points of Presence. Airtel's global network consists of capacity in SMW4, i2i- which is fully owned, APCN2, c2c, JUCN, TGN, TAT14, Apollo, Hibernia. This has been coupled with investments in new cable systems including AAG, Unity North, EIG, IMEWE, EASSy and a couple more in development.

Bharti Airtel's newly launched Global Wholesale Service Portfolio includes MPLS, Ethernet, IP and International Private Leased Circuit (IPLC) services with a reach to 50 countries. The portfolio includes solutions for voice and data connectivity, collaboration services, co-location, carrier outsourcing and content distribution through its next-generation high speed submarine network.

"The launch of the Global Wholesale Service Portfolio is another step in our journey of becoming a global network solutions provider. From being a regional partner for foreign carriers, Bharti is now uniquely poised to serve global carriers to and from any part of the globe. Over the last few years, we have expanded our global network services portfolio in a manner that complements our investments in existing submarine routes to ensure flexible options for connectivity across all regions of the globe. Bharti's strengths in this business, apart from the network is the flexibility and the innovation that it brings to its customers and partners that we believe creates winning propositions for the partners business," stated David Nishball, President-Enterprise Services, Bharti Airtel.

Sony Ericsson Appoints New President

Bert Nordberg has been appointed President of Sony Ericsson and Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation, will take on the role as Chairman of Sony Ericsson.

Since 2008, Bert Nordberg has served as head of Ericsson Silicon Valley. Before that, he was Executive Vice President, Group Function Sales and Marketing at Ericsson.

Carl-Henric Svanberg, President & CEO of Ericsson, and Chairman of the Board of Sony Ericsson, said, "In the two years he has been at Sony Ericsson Dick Komiyama has made some very important changes to their organization and laid the foundation for the company's turn-around. Although we are sorry to see him leave Sony Ericsson, we fully respect his decision."

BroadLight Awarded a Key PON Patent

BroadLight has been awarded a U.S patent (number 7,573,897) for a "method and grant scheduler for cyclically allocating time slots to optical network units." The patent applies to a grant scheduler and method for cyclically allocating time slots to traffic container (T-CONTs) included in one or more optical network units (ONUs) for transmitting respective data based on known respective service level agreements (SLA) for each T-CONT.

XO Adding 1.6 Tbps Nationwide Capacity with Infinera

XO Communications is embarking on its third nationwide network upgrade, which will more than double the capacity of the XO inter-city transport network. XO is using Infinera's ILS2 line system to deploy the ultra-long-haul nationwide network expansion, which will deliver 160 wavelengths on a single fiber and create 1.6 Terabits/second (Tb/s) of additional optical capacity. The network upgrade is expected to be complete later this year.

XO said the boost to its ultra-long-haul network enables it to meet the increasing demand for high-capacity network transport solutions from carriers, service providers and large enterprise customers. The upgrade will also support XO's Carrier Services network transport offerings, including its "Carrier Wavelength FLEX" promotion and its "10 Gigs in 10 Days" carrier service guarantee. Using the GMPLS-powered service intelligence in Infinera's IQ network operating system, XO Communications will be able to provision any service, currently from 1 Gbps to 40 Gbps and up to 100 Gbps in the future, between any two points on the network in 10 days or less.

XO Communications entered the United States' long-haul market when it deployed the first-generation Infinera DTN system in 2006.

In 2007, XO Communications again expanded its core transport network, deploying an additional 800 Gbps of capacity on major coast-to-coast routes across the United States. The current Infinera DTN system is the only DWDM system with 160 wavelengths in the C-band and is scalable to 8 Tbps in the future.

XO noted that it has invested more than $450 million to enhance and expand its network infrastructure, services portfolio and systems -- including its long-haul, metro, data and IP and interconnection networks -- resulting in a network footprint that now reaches nearly half of all businesses in the United States.

NETGEAR Announces Gigabit Firewall for SMBs

NETGEAR introduced its ProSafe 8-Port VPN Firewall (FVS318G) for small businesses with as many as 10 users. It provides IPsec VPN for secure remote connections, offers eight gigabit ports, one gigabit WAN port, and up to 25Mbps broadband throughput. Unique for its price point, the FVS318G also features a software-configurable hardware DMZ port to provide for server and other externally facing connections.

It has a U.S. street price of $139.

Verizon Wireless Connects Land Mobile Radios with Push to Talk

Verizon Wireless is expanding the reach of traditional Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems by interconnecting with Push to Talk users on the Verizon Wireless network. In September, Verizon Wireless' Push to Talk LMR Interoperability Solution will provide organizations with the ability to integrate the company's Push to Talk service with existing radio systems to create a broader LMR footprint that includes its nationwide wireless network.

The solution requires the deployment of an LMR Gateway and software, provided by Catalyst or Link Communications, which serve as an interface between LMR handsets, two-way radios, and mobile or base stations to the Push to Talk handsets on the Verizon Wireless network.

"By integrating Push to Talk into the radio system, organizations virtually eliminate a common complaint of first responders - missing a dispatch. The additional coverage provided by the Verizon Wireless nationwide network provides another layer of reliability to the LMR system. First responders also benefit with this solution because multiple agencies with different technologies can now communicate by using the Verizon Wireless Push to Talk module. This solution resolves the issues associated with interoperability," said Allan Overcast, president and chief executive officer, Link Communications.

JDSU Introduces 40G Field Test for OTN Multiplexing

JDSU has added support for 43G OTN multiplexing to its T-BERD /MTS-8000 40G Transport module. Specifically, the new functionality provides ODU multiplexing support, enabling service providers to test OTU containers within a 43G OTN circuit at service installation and generate test reports that verify service level agreements. JDSU's optical test platform now addresses all fiber characterization, optical spectrum analysis, service verification, and troubleshooting needs, from 1.5M to 43G.

AppTrigger Tunes its Service Broker for Voice Over LTE

AppTrigger is enhancing its "Ignite" Service Broker with the ability to deliver TDM Voice Services over Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks.

Currently, the voice network architectural options for carriers planning to deploy LTE include: a) maintaining a separate 2G/3G network for voice and using the new 4G network for data services, b) accelerating the rollout of a full-blown IMS infrastructure, or c) deploy a TDM Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA) architecture.

AppTrigger said a key concern should be the ongoing support of profitable circuit-switch applications, such as SMS.

Key benefits of the Ignite Service Broker (release version 11) include:

  • Service Broker enables Service Providers to extend current, revenue generating applications and services to LTE subscribers -- regardless of access architecture chosen

  • Pre-packaged interworking functionality accelerates time-to-market for critical revenue applications -- top most profitable applications and services included

  • XML based toolkit allows self-sufficient Service Providers to extend functionality as needed -- Ensures platform can evolve with SPs networks

Service Brokers, a network element that resides between the service layer and the converging network, are traditionally decoupled from the core switch and the service execution or service creation environment. Service Brokers efficiently manage service interaction and network orchestration with key features such as IM-SSF, SCIM, IN to IN Trigger Management, Protocol/Call Flow Management and Subscriber Data Management Interaction. AppTrigger's Ignite service broker enables carriers to preserve their investments in legacy applications by running them on next-generation networks, including LTE.

"The promise of advanced data services that LTE brings carriers comes with deployment challenges," said Patrick Fitzgerald, Sr. VP of Global Sales and Marketing at AppTrigger. "AppTrigger's Ignite Service Broker connects critical revenue-generating legacy applications such as TDM voice or SMS to any NGN architecture, including IMS and LTE, providing operators with tremendous CapEx and OpEx savings and without reinventing the wheel yet again."

BT to Boost Broadband to 20 Mbps

BT Retail will boost its top tier broadband downstream rate from 8 Mbps to up to 20 Mbps.

Upload speeds will also increase from up to 448 Kbps to up to 1 Mbps. BT Retail is offering the faster speeds at no extra cost. Faster speeds will initially be available through 549 exchanges serving 10 million -- or 40 per cent - of the UK's homes and businesses. Coverage will increase to 55 per cent by March 2010.

Juniper's EX Switch Revenue Grew 44% in Q2 2009

Juniper Networks reported that its EX Series switch product revenue for Q2 09 grew 44 percent over the previous quarter, and 312 percent over the same quarter last year. This represents four consecutive quarters of revenue growth. Total shipments have passed the one million port mark.

"Based on the companies covered in the Dell'Oro report, over the past five quarters of revenue shipments, Juniper has grown its EX Series switch revenue faster than any enterprise Layer 2/Layer 3 switch vendor entering the market in the previous decade," said Mike Banic, vice president of product marketing, Ethernet Platforms Group at Juniper Networks

U.S. Busts Largest International Hacker Case

The U.S. Department of Justice indicted Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, Fla., for hacking into the networks of major American retail and financial organizations and stealing data relating to more than 130 million credit and debit cards. The case is described as the largest alleged credit and debit card data breach ever charged in the United States.

Gonzalez and his co-conspirators are alleged to have researched the credit and debit card systems used by their victims; devised a sophisticated SQL injection attack to penetrate their networks and steal credit and debit card data; and then sent that data to computer servers they operated in California, Illinois, Latvia, the Netherlands and Ukraine. Gonzalez is currently in federal custody and could face up to 20 years in prison on the wire fraud conspiracy charge and an additional five years in prison on the conspiracy charge, as well as a fine of $250,000 for each charge.

Interview: Ericsson's Hakan Eriksson on HSPA+, LTE, and Wireless Trends

Video interview with HÃ¥kan
Eriksson, Chief Technology Officer, Ericsson.

1. How fast will you be able to push
HSPA+?  How does this compare to LTE?

"HSPA and LTE are both mobile broadband technologies that have similar capacities in terms of bits per hertz, but LTE can operate with higher bandwidth and thanks to that you can offer higher peak rates. It is also possible to increase the peak rate with HSPA, which is called HSPA+. If you use all codes, you can go up to 14 Mbps. Then you can increase the modulation up to 64 QAM for another 50% boost, giving you 21 Mbps. Then you can employ two antennas at each end -- called MIMO -- and you will double the peak rate again to 42 Mbps. And then you could run multi-carriers and double the peak rate again to over 80 Mbps. So there are many steps you can take to get the peak rate up very high on HSPA. But if you want to go above 100 Mbps -- which is the definition of 4G -- then you will want LTE, which you could bring up to 300 Mbps."

2. Will a broad uptake in HSPA+ subscriptions delay the rollout of LTE?
Why do you need LTE?

"No, I don't think we will see a strong interdependency between HSPA and LTE in that way because HSPA and LTE will operate in different spectrum bands. You want to have a certain harmony in the world with certain bands in most countries used for HSPA. So 2.6 GHz will be very much an LTE band and 2.1 GHz will remain an HSPA band. Operators will invest in both HSPA and LTE. So why do you need LTE? We will see applications coming that will demand even higher bit rates as we roll out fiber to the home. 2G was almost matching your dial-up. 3G is matching DSL and LTE/4G will come to match your fiber."

3. Will the lack of backhaul capacity be an obstacle to HSPA+ and LTE rollouts?

"Not a big issue if you have prepared for it. If you have fiber, or if you have good mini-LINK or microwave connections, to your sites, that is not a problem. Of course if your sites are CDMA or wideband CDMA and had only T1s for voice backhaul and now you upgrade to HSPA or LTE and get this tremendous capacity in the air interface, then you risk that the backhaul becomes the bottleneck. But if you've planned for that, it shouldn't be a problem. Operators have rolled out HSPA and have catered for fiber or microwave away from the sites, they have had no problems."


4. What are the prospects for LTE voice?  

"We have to remember that LTE was not invented for doing voice again. LTE was invented to do even higher peak rates -- for being more like a "wireless fiber", so to say. When will we have voice there (on LTE)? I think voice will come when you need it for OPEX, by bringing voice and everything together on LTE. The goal is pure IP... a pure packet network. Voice today is still predominantly run on a circuit switched basis in the mobile world because it is very efficient to do it that way. The air interface is a shared medium already, so if you don't talk or don't transmit there is no interference and somebody else can use the spectrum. Since it is a shared medium already, there is nothing to be gained. So in a sense it is already packetized even though there is a circuit-switched core model. So there is no reason to go to voice-over-IP for that reason. Verizon explained its strategy saying it will move its data usage over to LTE but will let voice stay on CDMA. I think that is a wise move to go that way, but of course one day they will realize that they are running two separate networks and that they have built a pure IP backbone, so they will decide to move everything over from an OPEX
point of view. When that will happen is up to Verizon to say. But it will happen. The standard is ready. 3GPP 7 already has a very efficient standard for VoIP but there is not yet a need to deploy that."

5. What role do you see for
Bluetooth, WiFi and WiMAX?

"I am a firm believer in mainstream technologies.. those that achieve economies of scale are winning ones. Bluetooth, WiFi and WiMAX address different radio areas. Bluetooth serves the personal area network linking all the devices you may have in your pockets or briefcase. And there Bluetooth is the winning technology. WiFi is really a cordless technology. It is not really an access technology, like DSL is an access technology. And there WiFi is by far the most entrenched technology and will be there. WiMAX is addressing the wide area, but here it is GSM, HSPA and LTE that are the dominant technologies. That is why WiMAX will have a much tougher time because it is not the mainstream winning technology. We think the 3GPP standards -- HSPA and LTE -- will have about 90% of the market, CDMA will have a little bit less than 10%, and WiMAX will only have about 1% of the wide area market. So there will be 3GPP standards in the wide area, WiFi in the cordless and Bluetooth in the personal area."

6. Are the energy efficiency
improvements for mobile technologies really making a difference for our
carbon footprints?

6. Are the energy
efficiency improvements for mobile technologies really making a difference
for our carbon footprints?

"If you compare the 3G systems of today with those of 2001, we have reduced the power consumption by 80%, so we are much more efficient today. Which of course is important because it has to do with how much carbon dioxide comes out of our industry. The whole IT industry contributes about 2% of the man made carbon dioxide, while the other industries contribute 98%. So there are two things to think about from that fact. One is that we have to do what we can do reduce our 2%, and we are doing that by reducing the carbon dioxide by 80% over the past 8 years. Then, we have to consider how we can use mobile broadband to avoid traveling or traveling in more efficient ways. If you look at the other 98%, our calculations show that we can reduce those by 20% by using IT. So there are two things: first of all, reduce our own 2%, and think about how we can use our technology to reduce the other 98%. As an example, consider that an annual mobile subscription is equivalent to driving your car for about one hour. Have you in the past year avoided at least one hour of car driving by using your mobile phone? Yes, you probably have. You've probably saved ten or twenty hours. There is a big payback this industry can create in carbon dioxide savings. This is good."

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.