Thursday, September 17, 2009

IBM Announces Densest, Fastest On-Chip Dynamic Memory in 32-nm

IBM has developed a prototype of the semiconductor industry's smallest, densest and fastest on-chip dynamic memory device in next-generation, 32-nanometer, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology that can offer improved speed, power savings and reliability for products ranging from servers to consumer electronics.

The company said its SOI technology can provide up to a 30 percent chip performance improvement and 40 percent power reduction, compared to standard bulk silicon technology. SOI protects the transistors on the chip with a "blanket" of insulation that reduces electrical leakage, saving power and allowing current to flow through the circuit more efficiently, improving performance.

IBM has fabricated a test chip with an embedded dynamic random access memory (eDRAM) technology that features the industry's smallest memory cell, and offers density, speed and capacity better than conventional on-chip static random access memory (SRAM) announced in 32nm and 22nm technology, and comparable to what would be expected of an SRAM produced in 15-nanometer technology - three technology generations ahead of chips in volume production today.

IBM said it intends to bring the benefits of its 32-nanometer SOI technology to a wide range of application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) and foundry clients and will use the technology in chips for its servers.

Philippines' Globe Telecom Streamlines with IBM + NSN

Globe Telecom, a leading telecommunications company in the Philippines with 26 million mobile subscribers, has implemented a new Service Delivery Platform, delivered by IBM and Nokia Siemens Networks, to streamline its business operations, generate new revenue and reduce the time it takes to bring new services to market. The Service Delivery Platform is helping Globe to reduce its time to market for new services by more than 80 percent. The solution removes many of the traditional cost and complexity inhibitors by providing a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) platform that incorporates open IT and Telecom industry standards, including Next Generation Operational Support Systems (NGOSS) to integrate its existing systems.

As part of the contract IBM is delivering WebSphere, Rational and Tivoli software using SOA aligned with NGOSS standards. Globe will also utilize IBM's Telecom Operations Content Pack as the key accelerator to streamline the integration and automation of key processes, while providing significant reuse and lower total cost of ownership associated with the launch and delivery of new services.

NeoPhotonics Ships Coherent Mixers For 40 and 100 Gbps Receivers

NeoPhotonics announced the general availability and volume shipment of its "photonic integrated circuit" (PIC) based Coherent Mixer for 40 and 100 Gbps optical transmission systems. Coherent mixers enable ultra high-rate optical transmission by revealing additional information about the amplitude and phase of the received optical signal over traditional intensity-level receivers, allowing transmission of multiple bits in each optical data pulse. Specifically, the Coherent Mixer product provides advanced demodulation to analyze the state-of-polarization and optical phase of a phase-modulated signal relative to an externally supplied optical reference, enabling recovery of the phase-polarization constellation for Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keyed (DP-QPSK) data transmission. The NeoPhotonics Coherent Mixer requires no power, operates across the C or L band and is based on planar integration, utilizing high volume semiconductor production methodologies.

At the same time, NeoPhotonics announced the initial availability of its demodulator for Differential Quadrature Phase Shift Key (DQPSK) data transmission. NeoPhotonics' DQPSK demodulator consists of two PIC integrated Delay Line Interferometers (DLIs), providing in-phase and quadrature analysis of differentially phase-encoded signals. To accommodate the unpredictable and varying nature of the received signal polarization, NeoPhotonics' DQPSK demodulator has been optimized such that the performance exhibits extremely low sensitivity to polarization variations.

F.C.C. Chairman to Outline Net Neutrality Goals

On Monday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski will discuss Net Neutrality principles in an address to the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. Genachowski is expected to back President Obama's campaign promise to ensure Net Neutrality principles.

At the event, Darrell West, Brookings vice president and director of Governance Studies will discuss his new study on what consumers in four countries, including the United States, want from mobile communications.

Additional speakers on the program include Ben Scott, Policy Director of Free Press; Josh Silverman, CEO of Skype Technologies; and David E. Young, Vice President, Federal Regulatory Affairs for Verizon Communications.

Huawei Ships Over 60 Million Mobile Broadband Units Worldwide

Huawei announced a company milestone -- the worldwide shipment to date of over 60 million mobile broadband units, including data cards, dongles and embedded modules, across more than 133 countries.

Huawei predicts the number of mobile broadband subscribers will soar to over 2 billion within the next five years. To help telecom operators is translate the growth in mobile broadband traffic into a proportionate increase in revenue, Huawei has outlined what it sees as the key success factors that operators should follow:

  • New business models: As data speeds become higher and handsets smarter, mobile data connections will provide the primary means of accessing the Internet. This brings about a collision between the business models of the traditional telecom industry, pay for time or bits used, and the Internet, where much of the popular content is free, supported by advertising. Rather than simply supplying a data pipe to these Internet services, telecom operators will become service providers to their subscribers: adding value, providing flexible pricing and billing, ensuring stability and high performance of network services that will in return increase operators' ARPU and build customer loyalty.

  • Adoption of intelligent systems: The new business models are based on operators' abilities to increase network efficiency and to provide unique and customized services that differentiate themselves from their competitors. Operators need to analyze user patterns, and build up segmentation of user demand to assist efforts in marketing and advertising.

  • Embracing future technologies: Cutting-edge wireless technologies and products, such as HSPA+, LTE and femtocells will become mainstream standards in the near future and operators who are prepared and planning ahead of time for this shift will benefit tremendously.

Indosat selects Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS Mobile Backhaul

PT Indosat, an Indonesian cellular provider serving more than 28.9 million subscribers, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to build an IP/MPLS-based mobile backhaul infrastructure to support next-generation mobile broadband services and offer premium IP services to its mobile customers.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 7750 Service Router, 7450 Ethernet Service Switch and 7705 Service Aggregation Router (SAR), all managed end-to-end by the 5620 Service Aware Manager. The Alcatel-Lucent IP/MPLS-based mobile solution enables Indosat to fully exploit the scalability and cost efficiencies of IP in the mobile backhaul network - from backbone to first mile. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"With a population of 234 million in Indonesia, we are experiencing extraordinary growth in both number of subscribers and traffic volume. Deploying Alcatel-Lucent's solution will help us prepare for emerging next-generation wireless network services and scale to meet bandwidth demand for High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and eventually 4G," said Jin Tiong Lim, Group Head of Cellular Network Planning & Eng.Indosat.

Flextronics Sells Stake in Aricent to KKR for $255 Million

Flextronics has sold its equity investment in Aricent for $255 million in cash.

KKR is a leading global alternative asset manager. Together with its initial investment in 2006, KKR entities now own 79 percent of the company.

Paul Read, chief financial officer of Flextronics, said "as we have previously announced, it is our intention to monetize non-core assets and benefit from the cash generated from those dispositions. We are pleased to have successfully executed this transaction, which increases our cash position and further strengthens our balance sheet. During the past year, we have delivered by approximately $1.4 billion, which includes $1.1 billion of debt paydown and the reduction of A/R sales and securitizations by approximately $277 million. These strategic steps have significantly improved our financial flexibility, while maintaining our cash balance over the last year at the approximate level of $1.7 billion."

"We are pleased to invest further in a company that has just reported its highest annual revenue in its history and continues to grow its customer base. This investment reflects our belief in management and the company as they continue to grow Aricent at this very important time in the communications industry," Sanjay Nayar, CEO of KKR India, said.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bridgewater Expands to LTE Subscriber Enablement

At last week's 4G World show in Chicago, Bridgewater Systems unveiled its Long Term Evolution (LTE) product suite. New products generally available include the Bridgewater Home Subscriber Server and Policy Controller which are both anchored by Bridgewater's Subscriber Data Broker and are compliant with 3GPP Release 8 Standards. Several global trials with major service providers are in the planning and implementation stages.

Bridgewater's new products for the LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) build on its subscriber, service, and policy control solutions. The LTE product set encompasses:

  • The Bridgewater Home Subscriber Server (HSS), a master repository that contains subscriber and device profile and state information, and manages subscriber identities, service profiles, authentication, authorization, and quality of service in real time. The HSS federates data from existing Home Location Registers and other databases for service parity and network migrations. It is undergoing extensive interoperability testing with leading Mobility Management Entity (MME) solution providers.

  • The Bridgewater Policy Controller (PCRF) provides smart network, application, and subscriber policies that allow service providers to manage mobile data growth and deliver personalized services. Extensive interoperability testing with leading Servicing and Packet Data Network Gateway solution providers is underway.

  • Inter-working with non-3GPP networks such as WiFi, EVDO and WiMAX is supported by an optional Authorization, Authentication and Accounting (3GPP AAA) module. It ensures seamless mobility and service portability across different networks.

  • Bridgewater's Subscriber Data Broker provides a common subscriber data management platform that brings together rich, dynamic subscriber data with the sophisticated tools to broker that data to multiple systems and applications to personalize services.

In addition, Bridgewater is continuing to expand its partner and interoperability ecosystem, which now includes the following leading networking solution providers, technology providers, and channel partners: Starent Networks, Alvarion, Motorola, NEC, Hitachi, Samsung, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, WiChorus, and Verint.

Bridgewater has been selected by four U.S-based WiMAX service providers to accelerate the launch of 4G broadband services to over 500 un-served and underserved communities across rural America. The company has received the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development acceptance for the Bridgewater® Service Controller including the Prepaid Integrator Module, the Bridgewater ® Policy Controller, and Bridgewater's Subscriber Data Broker.

Verizon: Rethinking the Wireline Business with Internet Video in Mind

The FiOS architecture and Internet video competition have led to a fundamental rethinking of the wireline business, said Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon Communications' Chairman & CEO, speaking at Goldman Sachs Communacopia XVIII Conference. The new business model calls for high penetration of fiber, with video being the anchor product in Verizon's wireline bundle. As FiOS gains scale, this allows Verizon to begin eliminating central offices, eliminate call centers, garages and fundamentally restructure the company. More importantly, the goal is to enable the TV as an interactive communications/entertainment device. Then, the next step is to bundle it with wireless using a common software interface on all screens.

Seidenberg said his own thinking about the wirelline business "has sort of matured a little bit." He no longer sees the core video product of the wireline network running over a switched digital video architecture. Nor will it resemble anything else from a traditional telecom company. Instead, he sees Verizon delivering video with the same over-the-top model of Google and other Internet players. So, he believes Verizon must focus on driving fixed costs out of its wireline business as quickly as possible while driving up FiOS penetration.

Regarding the LTE rollout, Seidenberg confirmed that Verizon will launch its service by middle of next year with plus 30 markets, with 100 million POPs to be covered by the end of next year.

Archived webcast material is on Verizon's Investor webpage.

Harris Corporation Taps Level 3 to Support 2010 Census

Harris Corporation selected Level 3 Communications to provide voice and Internet network services for the 2010 Census local census offices. Under the two-year agreement, Level 3 will provide voice services to 494 Local Census Offices in the United States and Puerto Rico, supporting more than 500,000 census field workers. In addition, Level 3 will deliver high-speed Internet services to connect these offices and transmit information to census field data collection centers.

Video Interview: BLADE Network Technologies' Vikram Mehta

Cisco Launches Smart Grid Ecosystem

Cisco launched a Smart Grid Ecosystem to facilitate the adoption of Internet Protocol (IP)-based communications standards for smart grids. Initial members include system integrators, technology vendors, power and utility integrators, service providers, and services and sales vendors who represent various elements of the Smart Grid infrastructure.

Members of the Cisco Smart Grid Ecosystem will collaborate on interoperability testing. The effort also aims to reduce the cost and complexity of deploying multivendor smart grid communications infrastructure solutions for both utility companies and ecosystem members.

The initial list of companies who are part of this open ecosystem includes: Accenture, AeroScout, Arcadian Networks, AREVA T&D, Cable&Wireless Worldwide, Capgemini, Coleman Technologies, EMC, Echelon, EnergyHub, GE, GridPoint, Infosys Technologies, Itron, Landis + Gyr, OATI, Oracle, OSIsoft, Pulse Energy, Proximetry, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), SecureLogix, Schneider Electric, Siemens, Skyline-ATS, Telvent, Verizon, Watteco, Wipro, and World Wide Technology, Inc.

In addition, Cisco has joined the ZigBee Alliance and will support and participate in the development of ZigBee Smart Energy public application profile technology and products.

EU Adopts Guidelines for Public funding for Broadband Networks

The European Commission adopted a set of guidelines for public funding of broadband and Next Generation Access (NGA) networks in the European Union. The EC said it expects to see up to EUR 300 billion of investment in both high and very high speed European broadband networks in the coming decade.

In general, the policy position is that investment should be made mostly by private companies. However, the EC believes there is an important role for public investment in achieving the widest possible access to broadband in underserved and non-profitable areas. Public investments should significantly contribute to shrinking the digital divide -- both within and between EU Member States.

The Guidelines make distinctions between different types of areas, including:

  • competitive areas ("black" areas), where state aid is not needed, such as densely populated cities

  • areas where one broadband infrastructure already exists, but broadband services are not adequate -- these are "grey areas",

  • areas where no infrastructure exists ("white areas"), such as rural areas.

The guidelines include a number of safeguards to avoid undue distortions of competition and avoid the 'crowding out' of private investment. These safeguards include:

  • detailed mapping to identify the unserved or unprofitable areas

  • operation of open and transparent tenders to grant the aid

  • open access obligations to foster competition at the retail level

  • technological neutrality to let the market pick the best technological solution and

  • claw-back mechanisms to avoid disproportionate advantages to the beneficiary undertakings and a waste of taxpayers' money.

The European Commission is also working on a draft NGA Recommendation, on which it held a public consultation during the summer. Once adopted, the NGA Recommendation will set out the regulatory environment to encourage private investments in fibre while at the same time maintaining effective broadband competition.

Kineto Announces VoLGA SDK for LTE Device Developers

Kineto Wireless released a software developers kit (SDK) for mobile device vendors looking to support voice and SMS over LTE based on the recently released VoLGA specifications.

In data-only LTE deployments, operators rely on embedded SMS to deliver critical management, provisioning and customer care messages. Kineto's VoLGA SDK is designed for USB dongle and netbook manufacturers to support the embedded SMS capability over LTE. It enables device vendors to quickly integrate VoLGA technology into their connection manager application and support embedded SMS over LTE. The Kineto SDK supports a range of operating systems including Windows, Apple and Linux, and it will accelerate LTE devices to market.

"Operators are lining up to launch LTE data services, with USB data cards and netbooks first to market. Manufacturers need to support the operator's existing SMS-based provisioning systems at service launch," said Mark Powell, vice president and general manager of Kineto's Client Business Unit and co-founder. "An alternative approach for delivering SMS over LTE, known as CS Fallback, is a dead end that will stall the market for years. Kineto is bringing out a VoLGA SDK to help drive the market forward and support early data-only LTE deployments."

VoLGA Forum Publishes Voice over LTE Specifications

The Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA) Forum has published a set of specifications for delivering mobile voice and SMS messaging services over LTE access networks. The VoLGA documents are available for download at Key aims of VoLGA include:

  • Bring voice and SMS services over LTE radio access networks and femtocells

  • Support new revenue-generating applications over LTE, such as IMS combinational services and the Rich Communications Suite (RCS)

  • Provide an improved overall user experience capitalizing on the performance advantages of LTE

  • Navigate a smooth transition to IMS telephony

  • Launch data-only LTE devices (USB dongles, netbooks, etc.) leveraging the existing SMS-based customer care applications such as remote device management, configuration updates and SMS-based service announcements

"The VoLGA Forum member companies have worked hard to rapidly complete the specifications, accomplishing the work in less than nine months," said Uwe Janssen, senior vice president, T-Mobile core networks at Deutsche Telekom. "We are pleased with the broad industry support for the VoLGA effort, and look forward to upcoming product releases from the vendor community."

The VoLGA Forum has 21 member companies including Alcatel-Lucent, Deutsche Telekom, Ditech Networks, GENBAND, HTC, Huawei, Kineto Wireless, LG Electronics, Mavenir, Motorola, Nortel, Samsung, Sonus, Starent Networks, Tecore Networks, Ulticom, WiChorus and ZTE.

Motorola Rolls Out NBBS for Remote Mgt of WiMAX Devices

Motorola announced the rollout of its NBBS WiMAX solution, enabling carriers to accelerate the introduction of new revenue generating applications and solutions, while reducing operational and support costs.

NBBS is part of Motorola's overall Service Assurance solutions suite - enhancing Quality of Service (QoS) at the edge of the network. Through automated service provisioning and comprehensive device management, NBBS enables operators to remotely activate, access, configure, and troubleshoot a full portfolio of fixed and/or mobile WiMAX devices; including CPE, PC Cards and handsets.

Motorola said its platform is architected, so that operators of any size will be able to use a single NBBS system for scalable remote management. The solution is standards-based and compliant with Broadband Forum's TR-069 and Open Mobile Alliance (OMA-DM) management protocols, ensuring interoperability with WiMAX devices from a variety of vendors.

WiChorus Adapts its Packet Core for HSPA & LTE

Currently in trials, the Smart GGSN solution turbo-charges HSPA/HSPA+ networks and prepares them for transition to LTE EPC without hardware replacement.

WiChorus has extended its SmartCore packet core platform to enable mobile operators to build their 3G HSPA packet core networks while providing a software upgrade path to LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC). Specifically, WiChorus is enabling support for GGSN, LTE PDN Gateway and Serving Gateway network functions. The WiChorus 3GPP solutions are fully compliant with 3GPP specifications, and are available on the SC 1400, SC 600 and SC 100 SmartCore platforms.

WiChorus' platform, which has been selected by Clearwire for deployment in its WiMAX network, provides subscriber management on a per application, per subscriber, per flow basis at line rate. WiChorus also provides advanced charging features, enables operators to adopt new business models that leverage Internet-based services. These include content-based charging, mobile advertising and revenue-sharing partnerships. In addition, the advanced stateful Layer 7 capabilities are coupled with SmartCore's knowledge of the wireless topology to allow operators to ensure fairness in network bandwidth consumption, and optimize scarce spectral and backhaul resources.

The WiChorus HSPA GGSN is currently in trials with mobile operators.

"The smart phones with social multimedia capabilities, connected notebooks and variety of other connected devices have caused a dramatic rise of Internet traffic on today's 3G networks," said Rehan Jalil, President & CEO of WiChorus. "The high CAPEX and OPEX involved in serving this Internet traffic in return for a low flat-rate fee is a significant business model challenge. With only a very small fraction of the devices worldwide with HSPA capability, it's just the tip of the iceberg. WiChorus SmartCore offers a fresh & innovative solution, addresses this business model challenge and enables to grow 3G networks with a future-proof 4G platform."

Verizon Business Cites Effectiveness of Global, Undersea Cable Mesh Network

Verizon Business' global mesh network automatically rerouted restorable customer traffic when 10 submarine cable systems in the Asia-Pacific region were damaged in more than 20 locations as the result of Typhoon Morakot and earthquakes off the coast of Taiwan. Automatic rerouting occurred within milliseconds of the multiple cable breaks in August.

From 2006 to 2008, Verizon Business invested $3 billion in its global network serving enterprise and government customers, and plans to invest at a similar level this year. The global mesh infrastructure is part of that ongoing investment.

"Our network investment and deployment of our global mesh network during the last three years in this region has paid off tremendously for our enterprise customers," said Ihab Tarazi, Verizon vice president of global network planning. "In every location where we had a mesh node, we restored 100 percent of our customers' restorable traffic -- without a human touch.

Verizon Business has more than 38 global mesh nodes, including 21 in the Asia-Pacific region.

NSN Demos LTE Call on Commercial Software

Nokia Siemens Networks completed the first LTE call using commercial base station and fully standard compliant software. The successful call was made via base stations with fully compliant software to the 3GPP Rel.8 (March 2009 baseline) LTE standard, bringing LTE trials closer to the behavior of future commercial deployments.

Nokia Siemens Networks said standard compliant LTE network products and terminals are a precondition for commercial network rollouts and for end users to benefit from a large terminal variety from different vendors.

"This call is a significant landmark in building and strengthening our entire LTE ecosystem and shows our commitment to the technology ", says Marc Rouanne, head of Nokia Siemens Networks' Radio Access business unit. "We see customers adopting LTE along differing timelines and we stand ready to meet the needs of early adopters of LTE as well as operators with extended migration paths from 3G/HSPA+ to LTE," he added.

The LTE data call was conducted in Nokia Siemens Networks' R&D Centre in Ulm, Germany, with NSN Flexi Multiradio Base Station.

The first deployments for LTE services are foreseen for the end of 2009 with volume rollouts of commercial networks in early 2010.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Portugal's ONI Implements ASON/GMPLS with Alcatel-Lucent

ONI Communications (ONI), a leading Portuguese communications operator, has completed the deployment of a control-plane based optical network based on Alcatel-Lucent's solution. The intelligent optical core enables higher levels of network security and availability to ONI's business customers.

Alcatel-Lucent deployed an optical network using an intelligent control plane. The intelligent control plane, based on Automatically Switched Optical Network/Generalized Multi-Protocol Label Switching (ASON/GMPLS) technology, is key for dynamic networking and traffic protection.