Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Verizon Business and McAfee Form Strategic Alliance

Verizon Business and McAfee announced a global strategic alliance to provide integrated security solutions to businesses and government agencies worldwide. Specifically, Verizon Business will offer McAfee's entire line of enterprise security products and services while McAfee taps Verizon Business' data center outsourcing and expert consulting and managed services capabilities. Additionally, the companies will jointly develop a suite of next-generation, cloud-based managed security services.

The next-generation, cloud-based managed solutions that are being developed under the agreement will leverage Verizon's leading managed security services platform, global IP infrastructure, advanced security operation centers, expansive footprint of data centers and McAfee's world-class security technology powered by its global threat intelligence.

The new security services will be managed by Verizon Business and operated in the cloud. The services will include a broad selection of security technologies, including firewalls, intrusion prevention services, anti-malware, content control and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) virtual private network (VPN).

Verizon and McAfee will offer these new solutions in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

"This strategic agreement with McAfee enables us to drive even more complete and integrated IT solutions to enterprises across the world," said Kerry Bailey, senior vice president of Verizon Business global solutions.

AudioCodes and BroadSoft Integration Simplifies IP Voice Deployments

AudioCodes and BroadSoft announced a strategic initiative aimed at simplifying the deployment and installation of IP voice networks. The collaboration tightly integrates AudioCodes Media Gateways, Multi-Service Business Gateways (MSBGs) and IP Phones with BroadSoft's BroadWorks VoIP application platform and VoIP Quality of Service (QoS) solutions -- eliminating many tedious configuration and maintenance processes, as well as quality of service issues that typically plague multi-vendor solutions.

Through BroadSoft Device Management, providers can quickly provision analog terminal adapters (ATAs), IP Phones, integrated access devices (IADs) and IP PBX equipment--any access device that uses XML/HTTP for profile management--at the customer site. A simple login process is used to retrieve the appropriate user-specific files directly from BroadWorks. Providers manage and control all aspects of device configuration centrally in the network, greatly reducing the time it takes to provision phones and eliminating the need for a technician visit.

"BroadSoft is committed to making the deployment process simple and scalable, and to drive down operational costs for our customers," said Ken Rokoff, vice president of business development, BroadSoft. "With AudioCodes' end-to-end customer premises solutions, coupled with BroadWorks' built-in device management capability, which is available across the entire line of AudioCodes devices, we eliminated the complex staging and configuration process."

"Simplification of the deployment of next-generation voice services is key to expanding the addressable market to cost conscious and risk-sensitive carriers," said Lior Aldema, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for AudioCodes.

Global Crossing Adds "EtherSphere" Services

Global Crossing introduced its "EtherSphere" family of services: EtherSphere Multipoint-to-Multipoint, EtherSphere Point-to-Multipoint and EtherSphere Point-to-Point solutions. They are available today as enterprise and wholesale offers in North America, Europe, the United Kingdom (UK), Asia, and Latin America.

Previously available in the UK as a metropolitan Ethernet offer, the expanded EtherSphere Ethernet WAN transport family now offers customers ubiquitous, global Virtual Private LAN Services (VPLS). The EtherSphere services support six classes of service that enable users to prioritize traffic to maximize bandwidth use and efficiency. The service also offers a highly desirable usage-based billing component that helps enterprises more easily accommodate irregular and unpredictable bandwidth use, as well as more effectively manage their network costs. This is especially beneficial for backup and disaster recovery implementations. The service is provided over Global Crossing's dedicated MPLS backbone.

Global Crossing has achieved the Cisco Powered Carrier Ethernet designation for its EtherExtend Flex service.

"Global Crossing's EtherSphere Ethernet wide area transport solutions give enterprise IT managers a way to globally interconnect their locations in key regions around the world," said Dave Carey, Global Crossing's chief marketing officer. "Its genuine, global ubiquity sets our offer apart from the rest of the industry.

Metaswitch Networks Expands Leadership Team

Metaswitch Networks appointed to Stefan Knight to the newly-created post of vice president of strategic alliances and Steve Gleave as vice president of marketing, both in the company's Carrier Systems Division.

Knight most recently served at Ericsson, driving product requirements and commercial strategies for telecom equipment manufacturers. Prior to Ericsson, Knight led product management, marketing and business development teams at Virata, CopperCom and Entrisphere.

Gleave brings more than 20 years of marketing experience working with high-growth companies in the network technology sector, including senior marketing roles at Endace, SS8 Networks, Ubiquity Software and Jetstream Communications.

Andrew Randall, who previously held the role now occupied by Gleave, continues as a key member of the executive team, moving into a corporate-level position as senior vice president for marketing and business development.

Orange Uganda Outsources Mobile Net to Alcatel-Lucent

Orange Uganda has selected Alcatel-Lucent to build, operate and manage its mobile network, including technical support, repair, field maintenance and program management services. Alcatel-Lucent said this full Managed Services contract is the first ever in Uganda as well as in East Africa.

"Orange Uganda is looking to reduce costs by employing new business models for operating and maintaining a network which offers a comprehensive range of communications services across its territory," said Pierre Barnabé, chairman and CEO of Alcatel-Lucent France.

Saudi Telecom expands GPON/ DSL with Alcatel-Lucent

Saudi Telecom has awarded a multi-million EUR frame contract to Alcatel-Lucent to expand, extend and upgrade its existing broadband network to serve an additional two million residential and enterprise customers by the end of 2010. The network upgrade is made possible by the enhanced aggregation and transport features of Alcatel-Lucent's broadband access, IP, optical and services solutions.

Under the agreement, Alcatel-Lucent will provide its packet optical transport solution for DSLAM traffic aggregation and Ethernet business services, along with its DSL and GPON /MSAN technology. The company will also leverage its services expertise in the areas of project management, network analysis, software integration, integration services and technical support services to deliver a true turnkey services solution.

Alcatel-Lucent Kicks Off “Open Community Broadband�? for FTTH Projects

Alcatel-Lucent is launching a turnkey "Open Community Broadband" program to help operators of "citynets" around the world -- i.e. open access networks typically operated by municipal governments or utilities - manage the complexities that are typical of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) deployments. Key elements of the program include:

  • Training -- including how to build a successful FTTH business case

  • Technology consulting -- which fiber technology makes sense in which circumstances

  • Designing and deploying the network -- leveraging passive optical networking (PON) or point-to-point (P2P) fiber

  • Managing the network -- dealing with all operational and maintenance aspects of running a multi-vendor fiber network, leveraging best-in-class capabilities in network management, deployment, maintenance and installation.

"Most citynet operators do not have the necessary experience or workforce to deploy and run a fiber network," says Dave Geary, President of Alcatel-Lucent's wireline networks activities. "That is why Alcatel-Lucent offers them the possibility to engage in an end-to-end partnership, helping them to reap the benefits of FTTH -- whether they are interested in PON or P2P fiber. Our customers know they can count on Alcatel-Lucent, with its lengthy track record in the FTTH space, to complete their project successfully."

NETGEAR Supplies DOCSIS 3.0 Cable Gateway for Japan's J:COM

Jupiter Telecommunications (J:COM), the largest multiple system operator (MSO) in Japan, is the first customer to deploy NETGEAR's new DOCSIS 3.0 Wireless-N Cable Gateway for cable operators.

NETGEAR's CG3200D enables J:COM to offer up to 160 Mbps data services as a compelling, differentiated offering in the highly competitive Japanese residential broadband market.

Ceragon and Alvarion Collaborate OpenRange's 4G

Ceragon Networks will partner with Alvarion as the wireless backhaul equipment provider to deploy a network for Open Range Communications. The new network is planned to be the largest Rural Utilities Service (RUS) funded deployment in the United States, spanning 17 states, 546 rural communities, and reaching up to 6 million people.

Alvarion was recently selected as the WiMAX solution provider for the Open Range 4G network. Alvarion is also acting as the prime system integrator of the project. Ceragon's high-capacity platforms will be used for backhauling rich voice and multimedia content over a newly constructed wireless IP network.
  • In January 2009, Open Range Communications announced an investment of $100 million from One Equity Partners (OEP), the private equity arm of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

  • In March 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture's Rural Development Utilities Program (RDUP) approved a $267 million Broadband Access Loan for Open Range, with the prerequisite that private financing also be secured.

  • Openrange is based in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Ceragon Lands Contract with Leading North American WiMAX Operator

Ceragon Networks has received a significant equipment order from a leading WiMAX operator in North America (name not disclosed). Ceragon's FibeAir point-to-point microwave solutions will support the operator's ongoing network expansion and will be deployed initially in two major US cities. The current order is valued at several millions of dollars.

FCC Investigates Middle and Second Mile Access Market

The FCC is seeking comment on the market dynamics for middle and second mile access services. Specifically, the FCC is looking for information as to whether "backhaul costs . . . stand as impediments to further broadband deployments." The FCC says several entities have claimed that adequate, reasonably priced, and efficiently provided access to middle and second mile transport services and facilities play an important -- if not gating -- role in the economics of broadband deployment, particularly in rural, unserved, and underserved areas. Public comment, which is due by November 16, will held shape the FCC's National Broadband Plan.

The FCC defines "middle mile transport" refers generally as the transport and transmission of data communications from the central office, cable headend, or wireless switching station to an Internet point of presence. "Second mile transport" refers generally to the transport and transmission of data communications from the first point of aggregation (such as a remote terminal, wireless tower location, or HFC node) to the point of connection with the middle mile transport.

The public inquiry seeks input in the following areas:

1. Network Components of Broadband Connectivity. On a per-end user connection basis, how much middle mile capacity is needed to provide adequate broadband Internet access to that end user connection? How does this vary? What technology options are coming in the next 5-10 years for middle mile and second mile connections?

2. Availability and Pricing of Middle and Second Mile Connectivity. What is the price of purchasing middle mile and second mile connectivity, broken down by relevant geographic area and technology (e.g., DS3, microwave, OCn, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet)? How much do these prices vary by length of the circuit? How large are discounts from tariffed rates for middle mile and second mile connectivity obtained from incumbent local exchange companies? Given current and projected demand and supply conditions, what portion of the overall cost of providing broadband Internet service to an end user is attributable to middle mile and second mile transport? How do these vary?

3. Pricing and Availability of Internet Connectivity. What is the current price per megabyte per month for a dedicated Internet access (DIA) port charged by a Tier 1 Internet backbone service provider? Likewise, what is the current price for other forms of Internet backbone connectivity available to Internet service providers, such as a transit agreement?

4. Economics of Deployment. Is the provision of a high-capacity fiber optic middle mile or second mile connection to a particular location a natural monopoly in some locations? To what extent do providers self-provide or integrate components of middle mile and/or second mile transport? Are certain types of providers--such as cable operators -- more likely to self-provide these services, perhaps because they can utilize that bandwidth not only for broadband Internet access but also for the delivery of video programming? If some government subsidy or action is necessary to facilitate construction of second mile and middle mile facilities, please identify the type of government action that would be adequate, such as the proposed regulatory action, explicit funding, or tax credits.

5. Nature of Competition and Availability of Alternatives. a. How do firms compete in providing middle mile transport services? What is the effect on price of the presence of a second or third facilities-based provider of middle mile or second mile transport service?

Additional questions in each of these areas is online.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Ciena Bids to Acquire Nortel's Metro Ethernet for $521 Million

Ciena agreed to acquire all of the optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business for $390 million in cash and 10 million shares of Ciena common stock. Based on the closing price of Ciena's stock on Tuesday, October 6, 2009, the full deal is valued at $521 million. The deal is subject to a competitive bidding process and higher offers could emerge. It also requires the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

The deal includes Nortel's long-haul optical transport portfolio; metro optical Ethernet switching and transport solutions; Ethernet transport, aggregation and switching technology; multiservice SONET/SDH product families; and network management software products.

Ciena is expected to make employment offers to at least 2,000 Nortel employees. In addition, The proposed acquisition would significantly enhance Ciena's existing Canadian-based development resources, making Ottawa the company's largest product and development center. Ciena currently has development facilities in Alpharetta, Georgia; Linthicum, Maryland; Ottawa, Ontario; San Jose, California; Spokane, Washington; and Gurgaon, India. As of July 31, 2009, the end of its fiscal third quarter, Ciena employed 2,110 employees globally.

"This is a unique and exciting opportunity for us to accelerate our existing strategy and the pace of our growth plans by two to three years," said Gary Smith, Ciena's CEO and president. "We believe this transaction will position us for faster growth by giving us greater geographic reach, broader customer relationships and a deeper portfolio of solutions. We believe we are best positioned to leverage these assets, thereby creating a significant challenger to traditional network vendors."

Metaswitch Posts Annual Revenue of US$113.7 million, Consolidates Brands

Metaswitch Networks reported annual revenue for its 2008/2009 financial year (ending 31-August-09) of £61.8 million (US$113.7 million), up 4.2% from £59.3 million in the previous year. Operating margins were sustained above 20%.

The company said its Carrier Systems Division business was primarily driven by tier one incumbent operators and major regional competitive providers, as smaller operators' spending slowed amid uncertainty about market conditions and the timing of federal broadband stimulus funds. Eight of the top 10 incumbent operators in North America now rely on Metaswitch for carrier VoIP infrastructure.

The company's Network Protocols Division (NPD), previously known as Data Connection Limited (DCL) but now incorporated under the company's main Metaswitch brand, also reported strong results. The company said all of the top 10 communications equipment vendors worldwide now using Metaswitch Network Protocols Division software to power their networking products. Business was balanced across its MPLS, Routing, VoIP and Session Border Controller product lines.

In addition, the company has consolidated its two division under a new Metaswitch Networks brand.

"We are extremely pleased with these results, especially in the light of market conditions which have seen carrier VoIP spending down by more than 30% according to industry analysts," said John Lazar, Metaswitch CEO.

CTIA Elects AT&T's Ralph de la Vega as Chairman

Ralph de la Vega, AT&T Mobility President and CEO, was elected Chairman of CTIA - The Wireless Association. He replaces T-Mobile USA President and CEO, Robert Dotson.

There will be 33 returning board members for 2010, along with the following newly elected board members: AOL Vice President of Mobile Products Raine Bergstrom; Assurant Solutions President and CEO Craig Lemasters; and CBS Interactive - CBS Mobile Vice President of Mobile Robert Gelick. The CTIA Board will be electing new officers and Executive Committee members in the coming weeks.

Bytemobile Wins Multiyear Deal with MetroPCS

MetroPCS Wireless awarded a multi-year, multi-product supply agreement to Bytemobile for its data optimization and content adaptation solutions.

The web optimization application of Bytemobile's Optimization and Services Node (OSN) will enable MetroPCS to cost-effectively scale its high-speed CDMA network to serve additional users and traffic within existing infrastructure. The Web Fidelity Suite of web, Flash and multimedia content adaptation applications will be deployed to enhance the MetroWEB mobile internet service. MetroWEB data service is powered by Google and offers MetroPCS customers complete access to open web and mobile web pages on a variety of handheld devices. Bytemobile's solutions are integrated on its Unison Mobile Internet Platform in the IP core of the network.

"Access to the Internet while on the go has become a necessity rather than a luxury," said Hugh Barton, Bytemobile vice president and general manager, North America. "With our optimization and content adaptation solutions in its network, MetroPCS will be able to deliver rich, fast web browsing and quality video play across virtually all mobile handsets. We are pleased that MetroPCS has selected us as its partner in delivering this exciting service enhancement for the MetroWEB brand."

Zhone's MSAP Selected by Egypt's Orascom for FTTx GPON

Orascom Development (OD) has selected Zhone as its end-to-end FTTx GPON equipment provider for the town of El Gouna, Red Sea. The rollout features Zhone's integrated FTTx GPON system with RF video overlay, including Zhone's MXK intelligent terabit access concentrator, zNID Optical Network Terminals (ONTs), RF equipment and the Zhone Management Systems (ZMS). Financial terms were not disclosed.

OD's installation in El Gouna will provide FTTH GPON based telephone extensions with AVAYA SIP functionality, high-speed data and video over a single fiber to each MDU/villa. This network design was achieved using Zhone's carrier-class MXK uplink and link redundancy LACP into its HP 10 GigE core switch.

Starting out as a simple real estate project almost 20 years ago, El Gouna is now OD's flagship resort. El Gouna is built on 10km of secluded coastline, has 15,000 residents spread across islands and lagoons and is the only mature fully-fledged town on the Red Sea Riviera.

FLO TV Launches its Own Digital Handheld TV

Qualcomm's FLO TV subsidiary unveiled its own FLO TV Personal Television -- a new dedicated device that will let consumers watch news, live sports, children's programming and entertainment on a dedicated device for mobile TV viewing.

The FLO TV Personal Television, which will be available for purchase this holiday season, will offer a subscription service starting at $8.99 per month with a 3 year contract. The device will be offered at a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $249.99. It has a 3.5-inch diagonal screen and measures 4.4 inches by 3 inches by .5 inches and weighs just over 5 ounces. Its battery supports more than 5 hours of active FLO TV viewing or 300 hours standby.

ng Connect Program Expands LTE Ecosystem

The ng Connect Program, which is multi-industry initiative aimed at encouraging the growth of a rich and diverse ecosystem of infrastructure, devices, content and applications for both mobile and fixed broadband networks, announced that five new members: Creative Labs, Gemalto, Kabillion, R360 and V-Gate.

The program is also launching two new next generation service Proofs of Concept (PoC) for secure access to mobile networks and interactive digital signage. ng Connect PoCs are now available in two new labs in the Paris area for demonstration to European operators.

The PoCs illustrate the user benefits provided by next generation networks to a wide range of industries including consumer media and entertainment, enterprise collaboration and e-Healthcare, automotive connectivity, digital signage and network-based computing. ng Connect Program members are collaborating on the development of these sample services which illustrate the performance benefits of 4G and LTE networks as service providers and network operators begin to deploy their next generation networks.

AT&T Extends M2M Partnership with Numerex

AT&T announced the extension of an agreement with Numerex, a leading single source provider of secure machine-to-machine (M2M) products and services, to provide turnkey services for M2M enterprise markets.

Through this agreement, AT&T will provide Numerex with access to the AT&T Control Center, enabling further expansion of AT&T's distribution in the M2M market. AT&T and Numerex customers that serve end-user markets - such as energy, healthcare and security companies - will benefit from synergies of these integrated services and the availability of more foundational components used for the design and development of most M2M solutions.

Earlier this year, AT&T announced an agreement with Jasper Wireless to offer exclusive U.S. access to AT&T Control Center, powered by Jasper. Jasper Wireless is a global leader in M2M, providing carriers with best-in-class business management, operations and support tools for consumer and enterprise markets.

Numerex's strategy centers on rapid, easy development and implementation of applications and solutions, correlating well with the AT&T/Jasper network services that include best-in-class provisioning, activation, and device management and support services.

AT&T Sees No Need for New Wireless Regulations

The wireless industry is one of America's great success stories and the government should be cautious about making any regulatory changes, said AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets President and CEO Ralph de la Vega, speaking at CTIA in San Diego.

"Our industry is highly competitive, innovative and thriving. Because of significant private investment, made possible by limited regulation, U.S. wireless consumers enjoy the broadest array of innovative wireless services and devices, the highest usage levels, the lowest prices, and the most competitive choices of any wireless market in the world," de la Vega said.

"Before we begin 'fixing' what isn't broken, we need to be thoughtful about the consequences. We believe the marketplace today is vibrant, and there is no need to burden the mobile Internet with onerous new regulations," said de la Vega. "Imposing new regulations on an intensely-competitive market that has been such a phenomenal success could have unforeseen consequences for jobs, investment, innovation, networks, and how the industry structures and prices services to customers."

In his keynote address, de la Vega, highlighted a number of points about the U.S. wireless industry:

1. Is the most competitive in the world: The U.S. has more wireless operators than any other developed country in the world, with four national carriers, and 173 regional, local and specialty operators . The U.S. wireless industry is the least concentrated among developed countries. Ninety-five percent of Americans can choose from at least three carriers

2. Offers the best value: Compared to other developed countries, the U.S.
wireless industry delivers the lowest effective per-minute price in the industrialized world. Not only do U.S. customers pay the least, they pay 60 percent less than the average of the 26 OECD countries' price. U.S. wireless customers also enjoy the highest minutes of use - almost three times the minutes of use of many other developed countries.

3. Offers more choices: U.S. wireless customers can select from among 630 devices from more than 30 manufacturers. Those devices are increasingly powerful: 84 percent of handsets are web-enabled and 89 percent are data-capable. Customers can choose from among almost every major operating system, enjoy an amazing variety of applications and today they lead the world in application downloads.

4. Is poised for next wave of wireless growth: Industry analysts estimate that the emerging wireless devices and machine-to-machine applications market could generate $90 billion in global revenue by 2013. The U.S. wireless industry is investing heavily to nurture this nascent industry. Emerging consumer devices like personal navigation devices, e-readers, netbooks and other consumer electronics are beginning to take off, while machine-to-machine applications promise to transform the productivity and efficiency of American businesses.

5. Has made massive investments: U.S. wireless companies have invested $264 billion since 1985, with $120 billion of that in the last five years alone. Last year, during challenging economic times, American operators invested $20 billion in wireless networks. The industry has also invested $33 billion in payments to the Federal Government in the last two spectrum auctions to ensure it can meet customers' future mobile broadband needs.

6. Is a virtuous cycle of investment and innovation: Spectrum is purchased; mobile broadband networks are built; innovative devices and applications are launched; and customers consume more data using new apps on mobile broadband devices, which in turn creates the need for more spectrum and promotes more innovation in devices and applications, and increased data usage.

7. Leads the world in 3G subscribers: The United States has only 7 percent of the world's wireless subscribers but 22 percent of the world's 3G subscribers. According to the GSM Association (GSMA), AT&T has twice as many customers using HSPA as the next closest carrier in the world.

8. Has exploding data consumption: AT&T wireless data usage has increased
nearly 5,000 percent during last 12 quarters (2Q06-2Q09). Also, a small number of users are consuming a disproportionate amount of data: the top 3 percent of smartphone customers use 40 percent of all smartphone data.

9. Faces unique constraints compared to wireline networks: A single fiber strand has theoretical capacity of 25,000,000 Mbps while the theoretical capacity for LTE or 4G wireless using radio spectrum is 100 Mbps (assuming 2X 10 MHz channels). Additionally, radio spectrum is shared by users in any given location. Because of those facts, a few heavy data users can "crowd out" many average customers if wireless carriers lack the flexibility to manage bandwidth usage for the benefit of all customers.

10. Is thriving: At stake is an industry growing five times as fast as the U.S. economy - industry analysts calculated 2.4 million American jobs, $19 billion in taxes and fees each year, and an estimated $860 billion in business productivity over a 10-year period.