Sunday, November 8, 2009

Infinera Gains Department of Defense JITC Approval

Infinera's DTN platform has been approved for Department of Defense (DoD) network deployments after passing extensive conformance and interoperability tests with the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC). The JITC certification supports potential Infinera DTN deployments with the U.S. Department of Defense and related agencies.

Infinera noted that it is the first DWDM system to be certified by JITC for carrying 40 Gbps services.

Cisco Builds its Collaboration Portfolio

Cisco expanded its collaboration portfolio of TelePresence, Unified Communications, and WebEx solutions with new tools for video and voice-based communications. . The company also announced its entrance into two new markets, enterprise social software and hosted email. The rollout includes:

Intercompany Cisco TelePresence Directory -- a Cisco-hosted directory of endpoints, organizations and people with access to Cisco TelePresence endpoints. The directory features a virtual assistant to assist with scheduling meetings between the more than 1000 rooms and 75 customers on Cisco TelePresence exchanges.

Cisco TelePresence WebEx Engage -- a simple, one-button initiation and scheduling solution with video integration between Cisco TelePresence and Cisco WebEx conferencing. Cisco TelePresence WebEx Engage, combines Cisco TelePresence and Cisco WebEx Meeting Center.

The Cisco Intercompany Media Engine -- gives end-users business-to-business communications over any IP network, maximizing network efficiency and reducing costs. This new solution, submitted today to the Internet Engineering Task Force for standardization, includes features such as business-to-business wide band audio, voice and other collaboration capabilities, including video, with multiple levels of built-in security, and will add additional capabilities in the future. Service providers will benefit from the ability to offer new business-to-business communications services, differentiated network capabilities, and expanded managed services.

Cisco Unified Communications system 8.0 -- extends support for a wide range of endpoints including new video- and WiFi-enabled Cisco Unified IP Phones and additional smartphones via Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator. Cisco UC 8.0 also offers customers a choice of deployment models -- whether on-premise, on-demand, or hybrid.

Cisco WebEx Mail -- a new corporate-grade, hosted email solution from Cisco with native Microsoft Outlook interoperability, optimized mobile device support, and browser-independent AJAX web 2.0 access. Using technology acquired from PostPath, Cisco WebEx Mail has a highly scalable infrastructure that overcomes the limitations of traditional mailbox size. Cisco WebEx Mail is on-demand, highly available, and designed to free IT departments from the burden of email infrastructure management and operation.

Jabber Federated Presence -- using technology gained through the acquisition of Jabber, Cisco has integrated the XMPP standard to provide secure, federated presence across its collaboration portfolio, starting with Cisco WebEx Connect Instant Messaging and Cisco Unified Presence 8.0. The XMPP open standard allows presence federation among presence systems, both business and consumer, as well as support for third party enterprise instant messaging clients and applications.

Cisco Show and Share -- a social video system that helps organizations create and manage highly secure video communities to share ideas and expertise, optimize global video collaboration, and personalize the connection between customers, employees, and students, with user-generated content. It allows organizations to record, edit and share video with comments, ratings, tagging and RSS feeds, and speech-to-text transcripts can be uploaded for easy video search and viewing.

Cisco Enterprise Collaboration Platform -- an enterprise-class social software portal that features a corporate directory with social networking capabilities. It allows users to create team spaces and community environments 'on the fly' and also offers a customizable framework for integration of legacy business applications and web 2.0 content. Unlike today's document-centric portals, the Cisco Enterprise Collaboration Platform is people-centric, facilitating real-time voice and video communication to connect people, communities, and information to make faster business decisions.

Zain Kuwait Rolls 22 Mbps HSPA+ with Motorola

Motorola announced a contract with Zain Kuwait to expand and upgrade the operator's 3G HSPA mobile broadband network to HSPA+, which supports increased download speeds of up to 21.6 Mbps, as well as implementing enhancements to the uplink. This network expansion and upgrade builds on Motorola's existing supply contract for Zain's 3G network announced in 2007 and subsequent upgrade that enabled increased data speeds of 14.4 Mbps as announced in mid 2008. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AppTrigger Enhances its Ignite Service Broker

AppTrigger has enhanced its Ignite Service Broker with support for five additional interworking (IM-SSF) solutions, helping service providers to extend revenue-producing voice services across next-generation IP infrastructure. The enhancement brings the total of predefined application interworking solutions to 17.

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.

AppTrigger's Ignite Service Broker delivers this "Any to Any" interworking for existing services and future application connectivity. In addition, AppTrigger features an "Ignite" Universal XML Toolkit that allows operators to easily configure network connectivity for services.

The Ignite Service Broker Predefined Portfolio of Interworking Solutions:

  • Non-Geographical Number (NGN)

  • Universal Access Number (UAN)

  • Universal Personal Number (UPN)

  • Reverse Charging

  • Blacklist with PrePaid

  • 800 Service/Freephone

  • Local Number Portability (LNP)

  • Calling Name (CNAM)

  • Premium Rate

  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)

  • Televoting (Mass Calling)

  • Wireless Prepaid

  • Calling Card (credit based)

  • Color Ring Back Tone or Caller Ring Back Tone (CRBT)

  • Find Me/Follow Me

  • Privacy Service

  • Network IVR

Occam Supplies MSAP for Polar Communications

Polar Communications, which serves more than 12,000 subscribers in North Dakota and Minnesota, has begun deploying a full FTTH network using Occam Networks MSAP platform. To accommodate the expected growth in last mile traffic, Polar is also deploying Occam's resilient 10 Gigabit Ethernet aggregation solution. Because DSL continues to play an important role in Polar's broadband network, they will use Occam's BLC 6000 MSAP and the platform's common OS to simplify the hybrid copper, FTTP and 10 Gigabit aggregation network.

Charter Posts 3.8% Revenue Growth in Q3, ARPU at $115

Charter Communications, the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States, reported Q3 revenue of $1.693 billion, up 3.8% on a pro forma1 basis and 3.5% on an actual basis, driven by increases in telephone, high-speed Internet (HSI) and commercial revenues. Third quarter adjusted EBITDA of $606 million grew 7.8% on a pro forma basis and 7.6% on an actual basis.

Some operational highlights for Q3:

  • Total average monthly revenue per basic video customer (ARPU) for the quarter increased 8.2% year-over-year to $115.26, driven by increased sales of The Charter Bundle.

  • Charter served approximately 12.6 million revenue generating units (RGUs) as of September 30, 2009.

  • Approximately 56% of Charter's customers subscribe to a bundle, up from 52% in the third quarter of 2008. Charter's pro forma ARPU for the third quarter of 2009 was $115.26, an increase of 8.2% compared to third quarter 2008, primarily as a result of higher bundled penetration.

  • Digital video customers increased by approximately 22,800 and basic video customers decreased by approximately 46,500 during the third quarter. Video ARPU was $61.49 for the third quarter of 2009, up 4.1% year-over-year.

  • HSI customers grew by approximately 52,400 during the third quarter of 2009. HSI ARPU of $41.59 increased approximately 2.6% compared to the year-ago quarter, driven by customer upgrades to higher speeds of service and increased penetration of home networking service.

  • Third quarter 2009 net gains of telephone customers were approximately 55,300. Telephone penetration is now 14.5% of approximately 10.6 million telephone homes passed as of September 30, 2009. Telephone ARPU of $42.76 increased approximately 5.1% compared to the year-ago quarter.

  • As of September 30, 2009, Charter served approximately 5.3 million customers and the Company's 12.6 million RGUs were comprised of 4.9 million basic video, 3.2 million digital video, 3.0 million HSI and 1.5 million telephone customers.

"Third quarter and year to date revenue and adjusted EBITDA increases reflect continued growth of our high-speed Internet and telephone businesses, both residential and commercial," said Neil Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer. "We continue to provide value to our customers by enhancing our products and service and by leveraging our advanced technology. For example, we increased our upload and download speeds, making Charter's high-speed Internet service even more attractive to our customers and further strengthening our advantage over DSL. In what is proving to be a challenging environment, we continue to deliver solid results, thanks to our continued focus on enhancing the customer experience, promoting the value of the bundle and remaining disciplined in expense management."

Calix Debuts E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform

Calix introduced its E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP), a modular, 1 RU Ethernet platform with a 100 Gbps backplane. The E7's two slot chassis supports any mix of GPON, point-to-point gigabit Ethernet (GE) or Active Ethernet (AE), and 10GE transport for business and residential services.

Calix said its new E7 leverages a standards-based Ethernet kernel built for access, called Ethernet eXtensible Architecture (EXA). The EXA Powered E7 delivers operational simplicity and network awareness, allowing the E7 to be easily provisioned, dramatically facilitating faster installation and turn-up. It can be deployed in the central office, remote terminal or node, in the basement of a building or cellular tower hut, as a retrofit, or in a network with other Calix C7s and E5 platforms.

Interface options include:

  • GPON-4 Line Card (Business and residential services): Enables fiber access flexibility with four GPON ports, eight gigabit Ethernet ports, and standards-based 10GE transport on the same line card.

  • 10GE-4 Line Card (Transport and aggregation services): Advanced carrier-grade, standards-based 10GE transport and MEF 9/14 certified business services aggregation on the same line card.

  • GE-12 Line Card (Residential Active Ethernet services): Delivers residential AE service drops in 12-port increments, with integrated, standards-based 10GE transport on the same line card.

Sprint Nextel to Eliminate 2,000 - 2,500 Jobs

Sprint Nextel will cut 2,000 to 2,500 positions during Q4 in a bid to reduce internal and external labor costs by at least $350 million on an annualized basis. The reduction impacts positions companywide, including those previously announced this month in the Wholesale organization, as well as a reduction in contractor and other outside labor.

Sprint also noted that it has seen a notable reduction in calls per subscriber to customer care and increased customer satisfaction resulting from customer service improvements for seven sequential quarters. In this period, the company has been able to discontinue the use of 27 call centers as call volume has decreased in the wake of service improvements.

Ciena Receives Regulatory Clearance for Acquisition of Nortel's Optical and Carrier Ethernet

Ciena has received regulatory clearances regarding its proposed acquisition of substantially all of Nortel's optical networking and carrier Ethernet assets. In the United States, Ciena was granted early termination of the antitrust waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. In addition, Ciena also has received from the Canadian Competition Bureau a no action letter, terminating the applicable waiting period for the proposed transaction under the Competition Act.

As a result of Nortel's restructuring process, the proposed transaction remains subject to a competitive bidding process. It also requires the approval of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware and the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and is subject to additional regional regulatory clearances as well as to customary closing conditions.
  • In October, 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.

Nokia Recalls Mobile Phone Chargers

Nokia is recalling certain mobile phone chargers due to a manufacturing defect. The product safety issue concerns certain chargers manufactured by one of Nokia's third-party suppliers. The plastic covers of the affected chargers could come loose and separate, exposing the charger's internal components and potentially posing an electrical shock hazard if certain internal components are touched while the charger is plugged into a live socket. Nokia is not aware of any incidents or injuries related to these chargers.

An estimated 14 million devices are covered by the recall.

Verizon Business Launches Enhanced IT Security Consulting

Verizon Business launched a new Data Discovery, Identification and Security Classification (DDISC) service to help businesses address the heightened risk they face because they often do not know where all of their data resides.

The DDISC services -- which are immediately available in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region -- discover, identify and classify data stored on a business' servers and extended network linking customers, partners and suppliers. As part of the services, expert Verizon business IT security consultants review the relevance and sensitivity of the data, and compare it with the enterprise customer's business goals. This information is then used to determine whether the company is handling and securing its data appropriately.

Verizon said its DDISC also helps organizations manage compliance with security standards and regulations such as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA).

Previously, Verizon Business had offered its security consulting services to businesses on a custom basis. To create DDISC, Verizon Business standardized and strengthened these services to ensure uniformity across its global security practice.

AT&T Provides Network Integration for Cummins

Cummins, which designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel engines, has awarded a multi-million dollar contract for network integration services to AT&T. Under the agreement, AT&T, in collaboration with EMC, will integrate Cummins' global networks with new content management, software and storage services. Specifically, AT&T's integration solution will virtualize Cummins' computing infrastructure, more efficiently using hardware resources to consolidate devices, facilitate business continuity and more readily serve high-priority applications.

Two Minute Video: Direct Tunnel Alternatives

Presented by: Dan McBride, Stoke.

WSJ: Sprint and Partners to Invest $1.5 Billion More in Clearwire

The Wall Street Journal reported that Sprint Nextel and its partners are preparing to invest a further $1.5 billion in Clearwire to accelerate its nationwide WiMAX rollout. The company has not yet commented on the report.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Infonetics: Recession Accelerates Wireline-to-Mobile Substitution.

The global recession clearly accelerated the pace of wireline-to-mobile substitution, according to a new Fixed and Mobile Subscribers market forecast report from Infonetics Research. Driven by strong growth in China, India, Brazil, Russia and other emerging economies, the number of worldwide mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion by 2013.

Some other highlights of the report:

  • There were nearly 4 times more mobile subscribers than access line subscribers worldwide in 2008 (3.9 billion vs. 1 billion)

  • The number of mobile subscribers grew 17.4% in 2008 over 2007, while access line subscribers declined 5.5%

  • Access lines are disappearing fastest in North America and China, due to the move to fixed-to-mobile substitutions, the switch from copper to fiber lines, and the recession, during which many people ditch their landlines and keep only their mobile or smartphone

  • The number of worldwide mobile subscribers will reach 5.9 billion by 2013

  • The number of PON FTTH subscribers worldwide is expected to soar at a compound annual growth rate of 32% from 2008 to 2013.

Lantiq Begins Operations as Independent Company

Lantiq has begun operations as independent company. The new entity was created throught the sale of Infineon Technologies Wireline business unit to US- based investor Golden Gate Capital. The final purchase price will amount to approximately EUR 243 Million resulting from customary adjustments in the asset purchase agreement with Golden Gate Capital. Infineon is expected to record a book gain of more than Euro 100 Million as a result of this transaction in the first quarter of its fiscal year ending September 30, 2010.

Lantiq is a market leader in the broadband access market and has approximately 900 employees around the globe. It is among the world's Top 15 fabless semiconductor companies and fifth largest among the companies headquartered in Europe.

Nortel Cites Recent Govt Wins in Asia-Pacific

Nortel said it has recently won significant public sector deals in several countries across the Asia Pacific region for its Unified Communications (UC), Ethernet Routing Switches, contact center deployments and virtual collaboration solutions. These contracts include:

  • New Zealand Public Service Association, the nation's largest union with more than 57,000 registered members, will migrate to a unified communications network from Nortel, Microsoft and implementation partner Gen-i.

  • Taiwan Post, the largest postal, banking and insurance services provider in Taiwan , is implementing a Nortel Metro Ethernet solution.

  • Shanghai Metro Line 1 has deployed a Nortel Metro Ethernet solution to transmit information relating to wireless access systems, electronic monitoring, digital television and broadcasting, including comprehensive network monitoring and alerting tools. All operational and management information - voice, data and video - will be securely and accurately transmitted and monitored, ensuring seamless communications among train staff and access to the PIS (Passenger Information System) at all times.

  • The Commonwealth Youth Games 2008, which were held in Pune , India from October 12 to 18, ran on a next-generation data network infrastructure set up by Nortel. The always-on, highly available network supporting 1,000 users, ran multimedia applications including real-time schedule updating, statistical analysis, resource coordination and media coverage helping ensure the Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 ran smoothly.

  • Japan 's Kyushu University Hospital has a new medical information network based on Nortel's clinical-grade Healthcare Solutions portfolio.

Alcatel-Lucent and Belgium's ONDD Offer Third Party Financing

Belgium's public export credit insurer (ONDD -- Office National Du Ducroire | Nationale Delcrederedienst) has agreed to provide insurance for third party financing for the purchase of Alcatel-Lucent equipment by service providers worldwide.

As a first result of this agreement, Société Générale Corporate & Investment Banking has arranged an ONDD-backed loan facility in favour of Turk Telekom, to finance various contracts between Turk Telekom and Alcatel-Lucent for a global amount of EUR 46 million. In line with Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) regulations, part of the local services was also integrated in this financing.

The loan facility could be extended to support additional new contracts between Turk Telekom and Alcatel-Lucent. The buyer's credit will be applied to the full foreign portion, on a global level, of contracts concluded between Alcatel-Lucent Teletas (Turkey) and Turk Telekom for technologies sourced from different Alcatel-Lucent entities around the world.

"This agreement demonstrates ONDD's commitment to supporting Alcatel-Lucent export transactions worldwide, in recognition and support of the critical role Alcatel-Lucent's Belgian operations play as a centre of expertise in R&D, export and project management for the company. This is an important milestone in our ongoing long lasting relationship with Alcatel-Lucent," said Stefaan Van Boxstael, Deputy Head of Underwriting from ONDD. "This agreement with ONDD allows Alcatel-Lucent to provide financing to its customers for contracts with sourcing on a global level involving technologies in the fields of optics, access, mobile, IP and applications and creates new ways for Alcatel-Lucent to meet customer requirements for worldwide sourcing."

Motorola and Aruba Settle WLAN Intellectual Property Dispute

Aruba Networks and Motorola -- together with its subsidiaries Symbol Technologies, Wireless Valley Communications, and AirDefense -- announced an agreement that settles all outstanding intellectual property disputes between the two companies. The disputes involved patents owned by both parties, and the settlement includes a cross-licensing agreement.

Ericsson Appoints Exec for Brand Strategy

Ericsson has appointed Cesare Avenia to a new position in the group management team where Avenia will be responsible for driving the implementation of Ericsson's new brand strategy. Cesare Avenia has most recently served as head of the company's South East Europe market unit.

"We will move from traditional telecom to IP, we see how we move from being a hardware to a software business and we will see an evolution and modernization of the networks rather than the past years vast rollouts of new networks", says in-coming President and CEO Hans Vestberg. "This requires us to change our ways of working as well as business and engagement models. Our ability to develop competence, behavior and position are key success factors and we are repositioning our brand to capture these new opportunities."