Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shaw Launches100 Mbps DOCSIS 3.0 in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver

Shaw Communications launches DOCSIS 3.0 services in Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. Shaw's High-Speed Nitro is the fastest Internet speed available across Canada promising speeds up to 100 Mbps downstream. Shaw launched High-Speed Nitro in Saskatoon, Victoria and Winnipeg earlier this year.

Shaw High-Speed Nitro is priced at $149 (CDN) per month when bundled with any other Shaw service; the price includes DOCSIS 3.0 modem rental.

Miami-based TeleCuba Gains U.S. License for Fiber Cable to Cuba

TeleCuba Communications, a company based in Miami, Florida, has been granted licenses by the U.S. Department of the Treasury ("OFAC") to install the first direct fiber optic subsea cable between Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba. The company estimates its 110-mile cable will cost $18 million. TeleCuba expects the cable to be fully operational by the second quarter of 2011.

The announcement follows the Obama administration's decision to remove many of the telecommunications restrictions mandated by the embargo.

"The cable will be the first of its kind," says Virginia Hoffman of Great Eastern Group, head of TeleCuba's cable system design, construction, and installation. "It will be far more than a simple commercial cable; TeleCuba has agreements in place to provide for multiple subsea science nodes along the cables path for use by major universities and weather management agencies for both educational and research purposes."

Once in service, the use of the fiber optic cable will eliminate the need for satellite communication between the U.S. and Cuba. The new cable will allow for an array of new telecommunication products and services such as high speed internet and cable television, which are not feasible using current satellite communications.

TeleCuba was founded in 1995 and currently offers calling card services to Cuba.

Tata's Global Priority Ethernet Gains MEF 9 and MEF 14 Status

Tata Communications' Priority Ethernet services have now been certified by the Metro Ethernet Forum (MEF) as conforming to the MEF 9 and MEF 14 specifications. This complements the already MEF certified Global Dedicated Ethernet Services, introduced by Tata Communications in 2006 and certified since 2007.

MEF 14 ensures that the latency, jitter and packet loss performance of the services conforms to the rigorous MEF standards, while MEF 9 ensures the conditions required for delivery of services have specific Ethernet User Network Interface (UNI) and Ethernet Virtual Connection (EVC) service attributes. MEF 14 is also the first industry certification to include performance criteria, which helps to raise the bar on carriers' services performance.

UTStarcom and Starent Settle Legal Dispute

UTStarcom and agreed to settle all legal disputes between the two companies. Under the settlement, Starent will make a one-time payment to UTStarcom in the amount of $3.5 million and receive a perpetual royalty-free license to UTStarcom patents.

AT&T Manages Global VPN for NYK Shipping

The Japanese global shipping company Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) has selected AT&T as its worldwide communications provider. AT&T is providing Virtual Private Network (VPN) services to NYK Group in North America, Europe and Asia. The network connects NYK's 137 global sites in 31 countries.

Telecom Egypt Launches FTTH in Cairo Suburb of Qatamiya

Telecom Egypt is moving forward with the FTTH deployment in Egypt in the Cairo suburb of Qatamiya. The carrier will offer Triple Play services and downloads speeds of 70 Mbps.

Alcatel-Lucent Announces "Network MIMO" to Boost Wireless Performance

Researchers at Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Laboratories are developing a new Coordinated Multipoint Transmission (CoMP) technology aimed at increasing data transmission rates and ensuring consistent service quality and throughput on LTE as well as on 3G networks. The performance gains are achieved by coordinating and combining signals from multiple antennas. Unlike with existing MIMO (Multiple Input-Multiple Output) approaches, CoMP leverages multiple access points -- a technique termed Network MIMO. Bell Labs, which pioneered MIMO, said its development of Network MIMO also reflects a commitment to open innovation and serves as a clear demonstration of the benefits that result.

Live field tests of CoMP have been conducted in the downtown areas of Berlin in cooperation with Deutsche Telekom Laboratories, the Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institut, and antenna supplier Kathrein. The tests were part of a joint research project sponsored by the German Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) called Enablers for Ambient Services and Systems (EASY-C).

During the tests, signals transmitted from mobile devices were received by two active remote radio heads deployed on two buildings located 500m from one another, then forwarded across an optical fiber link to a central unit comprising the modem and controller elements of an Alcatel-Lucent LTE base station (eNodeB). The signals were then combined with one another to increase the strength of the signal. Transmissions between mobile devices and base stations during the field tests made use of the 2.6 GHz frequency band, which is expected to be the predominant band for introduction of commercial LTE services in Europe.

Alcatel-Lucent said these tests showcased Coordinated Multipoint Transmission's key benefits:

  • Helps improve bandwidth scalability by boosting transmission rates not only in the connection from the network to the user's mobile device (downlink), but from the mobile device to the network (uplink).

  • Improves quality of service by demonstrating consistently high transmission rates on the uplink from the phone to the network, even at the edges of a "cell" where transmission quality is typically poor and difficult to maintain; data rates greater than 5Mbps were observed for the vast majority of locations.

  • Maximizes the use of existing network infrastructure to achieve these higher transmission speeds without necessarily requiring deployment of additional antennas.

"The results we have achieved with this new transmission technology are built on our world-leading multi-antenna wireless research," said Gee Rittenhouse, head of Bell Labs Research. "In the future as LTE networks become widely deployed we expect that CoMP will help enable our customers to meet the next wave of demand from users who expect to access all sorts of exciting high-bandwidth applications with their mobile phones."
  • In June 2009, Germany's Project EASY-C announced the first demonstration of a multi-cell cooperative coherent downlink transmission from two base stations to two mobile terminals. This test was performed by TU Dresden. Project EASY-C has a number of industry and academic partners. Key findings are posted on their website.

Nokia and NSN Report Improved Conditions in Q3 But Market Share Declines

Nokia reported net sales of EUR 9.8 billion for Q3 2009, down 20% year on year and down 1% sequentially (down 19% and flat at constant currency). Net sales of mobile devices & services came in at EUR 6.9 billion, down 20% year on year and up 5% sequentially (down 20% and up 6% at constant currency). The company's overall non-IFRS operating margin was 11.4% (18.6% in Q3 2008 and 12.2% in Q22009), while gross margin for devices and services was 30.9%, down from 34.0% in Q2 2009. Nokia's third quarter 2009 reported operating loss was EUR 426 million, compared with an operating profit of EUR 1.5 billion in the third quarter 2008.

"The demand for mobile devices improved in many markets during Q3. With the average selling price of our devices holding firm quarter-on-quarter, our higher device volumes translated into increased net sales in our Devices & Services business. Our volumes and net sales were, however, somewhat constrained by component shortages we encountered across the portfolio. I also want to highlight the good operating expense management that helped the segment deliver solid earnings," stated company CEO Olli-Pekka KALLASVUO.

Net sales for Nokia Siemens Networks were EUR 2.8 billion, down 21% year on year and down 14% sequentially (down 20% and down 14% at constant
currency), and non-IFRS operating margin of -1.9% (5.1% in Q3 2008). NSN's reported gross profit decreased 28% to EUR 778 million, compared with EUR 1.1 billion in the third quarter 2008, with a reported gross margin of 28.2% (30.8%).

Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks now expect the mobile infrastructure and fixed infrastructure and related services market to decline approximately 5% in Euro terms in 2009, from 2008 levels. This is an update to Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks earlier expected decline of approximately 10%. However, Nokia Siemens Networks expects its market share will decline by more than previously expected in 2009, compared with 2008. Strong performance in NSN's Services business unit is expected to be offset by declines in certain product businesses.

"The challenging competitive factors and market conditions in the infrastructure and related services business necessitated non-cash impairment charges at Nokia Siemens Networks. We continue to support Nokia Siemens Networks actions to improve its performance," said Kallasvuo.

Some highlights from the Nokia's quarterly financial report:

  • Estimated industry mobile device volumes of 288 million units, down 7% year on year and up 7% sequentially.

  • Nokia mobile device volumes of 108.5 million units, down 8% year on year and up 5% sequentially.

  • Nokia estimated mobile device market share of 38% in Q3 2009, at the same level as in Q3 2008 and in Q2 2009.

  • Nokia mobile device ASP of EUR 62, at the same level as in Q2 2009.

  • Nokia expects industry mobile device volumes in the fourth quarter 2009 to be up sequentially.

  • Nokia expects its mobile device market share in the fourth quarter 2009 to be approximately at the same level sequentially.

  • Nokia expects industry mobile device volumes to be approximately 1.12 billion units in 2009, down approximately 7% from approximately 1.21 billion units Nokia estimated for 2008. This is an update to Nokia's earlier estimate of industry mobile device volumes declining approximately 10% in 2009 from 2008 levels.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Motorola secures major WiMAX contract in Ireland

Motorola has been selected by Imagine to design and deploy an end-to-end WiMAX network to replace Imagine's existing wireless infrastructure nationwide across Ireland. Motorola will provide deployment, integration and support services to Imagine in addition to WiMAX equipment. This will include WiMAX Access Points, such as the WAP 450 for increased coverage and capacity in a compact design and the WAP 800 with beamforming antenna techniques for enhanced performance. For customer premises equipment Imagine will offer the USBw 100 dongle for high speed mobile connectivity; the CPEi 775 which includes a built-in Wi-Fi router and ports for VoIP; and the CPEo 450 which extends the coverage of critical broadband and VoIP services, while reducing infrastructure and support costs. A portion of purchase price will be financed by Motorola.

Bell Labs Collaborates with Korea's Gachon Energy Institute

Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs and the Gachon Energy Research Institute (GERI) of Korea's Kyungwon University have entered into a joint research agreement to design mission-critical communication infrastructure, comprehensive security systems, and develop innovative businesses models for the next-generation smart power grid (Smart Grid). The Grid 2.0 research project aims is to enhance the efficiency, reliability, security, and intelligence of electric power grids by exploiting the convergence between electric power systems and information and communications technologies.

NTT DOCOMO Selects Alcatel-Lucent's 7450 Ethernet Switch

NTT DOCOMO has selected Alcatel-Lucent's 7450 Ethernet Service Switch (ESS) for a nationwide, high quality, latency-sensitive network addressing voice and video traffic when transporting over its core IP network. It also provides a smooth evolution path for NTT DOCOMO to upgrade its network to 10Gig and - as network growth demands -- to 40Gig and 100Gig. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Fujitsu Releases MPEG-4 Encoder/Decoder for Remote Applications

Fujitsu Frontech North America released a set of compact MPEG-4 AVC encoders and decoders for real time transmission of high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) content over IP networks. The IP-900 is designed formobile and transportable applications in news gathering and other remote event applications.

The Fujitsu IP-900E encoder utilizes advanced H.264 encoding for bandwidth-efficient real time transmission of digital content over IP networks. Error correction and retransmission (FEC/ARQ) technology enables the Fujitsu IP-900 series to deliver a error-free transport stream across private and public IP networks.

Wi-Fi Direct Specification Nears Completion

The Wi-Fi Alliance is nearing completion of a new specification to enable Wi-Fi devices to connect to one another without joining a traditional home, office, or hotspot network. The Wi-Fi Alliance expects to begin certification for this new specification in mid-2010, and products which achieve the certification will be designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct.

The Wi-Fi Direct specification, previously code-named "Wi-Fi peer-to-peer," can be implemented in any Wi-Fi device, from mobile phones, cameras, printers, and notebook computers, to human interface devices such as keyboards and headphones. The Wi-Fi Alliance plans to publish its peer-to-peer specification upon completion.

Significantly, devices that have been certified to the new specification will also be able to create connections with hundreds of millions of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED legacy devices already in use. Devices will be able to make a one-to-one connection, or a group of several devices can connect simultaneously.

Brocade to OEM Motorola's 802.11 WLAN

Brocade is partnering with Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions business unit on wireless LAN (WLAN), voice-over-WLAN, mobile unified communications/fixed mobile convergence (FMC), cloud computing and wireless broadband technologies. The companies established an OEM reseller agreement, through which, Brocade will rebrand and resell a number of Motorola's enterprise wireless LAN solutions and resell Motorola wireless security products as an extension of its own IP/Ethernet product portfolio.

"Working together, Brocade and Motorola can develop and deliver industry-leading integrated wired and wireless solutions," said Michael Klayko, chief executive officer, Brocade. "This clearly is an area of increasing importance to our customers as businesses continue to upgrade their network infrastructures to meet the demands of a mobile workforce who require ubiquitous access to any application, from anywhere at any time."

AT&T Delivers Campus Application with Pyxis Mobile

AT&T introduced a new mobile application for colleges and universities that extends the college experience to students' mobile devices.

Built with Application Studio, a mobile application platform from Pyxis Mobile, UpperClass from AT&T is a customizable application delivering a wide range of campus-related information to students, administrators, faculty, parents and alumni. The application provides a college community with real-time access to the information, including class information, student and faculty directories, scheduling, administration and community information, social networking, ticket purchasing and fundraising options, along with campus wide alerts such as weather conditions or class cancellations.

TELUS Deploys Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE

TELUS has selected Fujitsu's FLASHWAVE Packet Optical Networking Platforms (Packet ONPs) for its next-generation converged Packet/TDM optical network. The deployment features the Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 9500 and FLASHWAVE 4100 ES Packet ONPs. Network planning, management, and professional services support are being provided by the complete line of Fujitsu NETSMART software solutions and Network Life Cycle Services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Fujitsu FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP combines the functionality of Connection-oriented Ethernet and SONET/SDH with the flexibility of a ROADM in a single shelf. The pluggable ROADM option and patent-pending universal switch fabric of the FLASHWAVE 9500 Packet ONP allow both Ethernet and SONET/SDH traffic to be transported in their native framing formats to create a universal optical infrastructure. The FLASHWAVE 4100 ES micro Packet ONP offers a compact 2RU (3.5") modular solution for high concentrations of DS1, DS3, and Ethernet services. Both platforms include integrated Connection-oriented Ethernet technology that delivers the interface flexibility, statistical multiplexing and packet aggregation benefits of Ethernet with the QoS performance and security of SONET/SDH.

Motorola Releases Wireless Ethernet Backhaul for Licensed Spectrum

Motorola introduced a licensed microwave point-to-point (PTP) Ethernet solution operating in the 11, 18, 23 and 26 GHz frequency bands and designed to backhaul IP data for a range of applications, including building-to-building connectivity, distance learning, last-mile access or wireless video surveillance.

The new Motorola PTP 800 delivers network speeds ranging from 10 to 368 Mbps, full duplex on a single channel, and offers user-configured channel bandwidths from 7 to 56 MHz. Motorola is offering a flexible pricing for the platform through software license key upgrades, enabling customers to gradually increase throughput capacity as their bandwidth demands grow.

The modem features adaptive coding and modulation, enabling transmitters and receivers to negotiate the best mutually sustainable data rate, helping ensure the highest spectral efficiency and top throughput possible for the radio path, while providing the maximum link availability. The PTP 800 also comes equipped with unique asymmetric throughput control, enabling customers to regulate down- and up-link data rates depending on the types of applications and traffic patterns on their networks.

Motorola said its PTP 800 is the smallest modem on the market, supporting wall or rack mount deployments and reducing the need for rack space.

Motorola also features LINKPlanner tool that helps network designers to project performance characteristics for multiple links prior to purchase, view the PTP links in Google Earth and obtain a bill of materials that lists all equipment required to deploy the network.

"Network operators want the flexibility to deploy both licensed and unlicensed fixed wireless broadband solutions, and seek technology providers that have the most complete portfolio to meet their current and future needs," said Scott Imhoff, director of point-to-point product management, Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions.

Internap Adds Hibernia Atlantic to Carrier Diversity Model

Internap Network Services has added Hibernia Atlantic's trans-Atlantic cable system to its diverse network of backbone providers. Internap's patented routing technology chooses the best path for content delivery. The company currently delivers and distributes applications and content for more than 3,000 companies over its managed Internet and Content Delivery Network (CDN). With the addition of Hibernia to the best-path options available within this architecture, Internap's private network backbone solution is even less susceptible to failures in the rather unlikely event that more than one of its other providers were to experience simultaneous outages.