Monday, November 16, 2009

Starent Adds Policy and Charging Control for 3G and 4G

Starent Networks announced an end-to-end 3GPP Policy and Charging Control (PCC) solution to address mobile operators' need to manage network traffic and introduce new revenue generating services.

The Starent PCC solution consists of Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF), Subscriber Profile Repository (SPR), Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF) and On-Line and Off-Line Charging (OCS/OFCS). Starent integrates these elements in the mobile gateway function. Key services of the PCC solution include automated use notifications to prevent bill shock and reduce subscriber churn, tiered services to improve customer satisfaction, parental control, roaming management, traffic optimization, location-based differential charging and on-net preferential charging.

The complete solution consists of Starent and ecosystem partner technologies, enabling operators to improve subscriber experiences through effective resource management. It can be deployed in 3G networks and can be used in LTE/EPC networks through a software upgrade.

"Mobile operators are increasingly challenged by the explosion of data traffic, to keep costs down and monetize their networks," said Ashraf Dahod, president and chief executive officer of Starent Networks. "By offering a tightly-coupled and cost-effective PCC solution, Starent is providing operators with the real-time management of their network resources to contain costs and provide the personalized services they need now."

Starent noted that its PCC solution has been deployed in multiple tier-one operator networks.

Brocade Launches Compact NetIron MPLS Router

Brocade introduced its NetIron CER 2000 Series compact MPLS router, featuring double the routing capacity and triple the forwarding capacity of previous solutions while fitting into a compact 1U form factor.

Brocade said it developed the new NetIron CER 2000 for service providers that are facing increased edge and aggregation routing demands. The platform is optimal for use as a Carrier Ethernet/Metro edge router, an MPLS Provider Edge (PE) router, or as a high-capacity border router for small data centers and enterprise branch offices with Ethernet connectivity. Additionally, the NetIron CER 2000 features a highly scalable BGP implementation for compact route-reflector applications.

The new platform delivers wire-speed Carrier Ethernet services -- such as E-LINE, E-LAN, and E-TREE services (MEF 9, 14, and 21 certification)-- with its multicast and Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities to support triple-play applications. It features scalable MPLS with VLL, VPLS, VPLS-PBB, and advanced resiliency at multiple layers using MPLS Fast Reroute, hot-standby LSPs, and fault detection and recovery with Brocade Metro Ring Protocol (MRP)/MRP2. It supports either 24 or 48 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) ports with two 10 GbE uplinks. It also uses the same Brocade Multi-Service IronWare OS that powers the high-end NetIron MLX and NetIron XMR chassis-based routers.

In addition, the compact form factor, front-to-back airflow and new silicon improve operational efficiency with 66 percent power consumption.

The NetIron CER 2000 will be available first quarter CY 2010 in six models, including fiber and copper configurations. The base price is US$12,495.

Liberty University Deploys Procera's PacketLogic DPI

Liberty University installed Procera Networks' PacketLogic PL7720 Evolved Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to gain visibility into network traffic and to balance the bandwidth consumption between academic and non-academic network traffic. Multiple PacketLogic systems are being used to balance academic and recreational Internet bandwidth consumption by the university's 800 faculty members, 11,800 residential and 36,000 distance-learning students.

Bill Gates Funds GSMA's Mobile Money Initiative

The GSMA awarded six additional grants under its the Mobile Money for the Unbanked Fund (MMU) initiative, which aims to use mobile phones to improve the lives of people without bank accounts. New grantees include AKTEL in Bangladesh, Dialog Telekom PLC in Sri Lanka, Grameenphone Ltd in Bangladesh, MTN Cameroon, MTN Uganda and Vodacom Tanzania. Grants are available for projects promoting the uptake of mobile money services for the unbanked and underbanked, with funding for projects up to a value of US$1million. The MMU programme is supported by a US$12.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

According to research cited by GSMA, only 13 per cent of the population of Bangladesh has a bank account, which means that upwards of 130 million people have no access to formal financial services. MMU funds have been awarded to two participants in Bangladesh, AKTEL (a joint venture company between Axiata Group Berhad of Malaysia and NTT DoCoMo, Japan) and Grameenphone Ltd. In November, AKTEL will launch a bill payment service (through mobile) for electricity subscribers, which has been awarded by the Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) to AKTEL. Under the mCommerce initiative, AKTEL is introducing SMS and IVR based services with the aim of assisting financially constrained rural communities
By reaching the underbanked, the unbanked and those financially handicapped by high interest rates from existing services, Grameenphone and AKTEL are enabling individuals to create financial identities which will benefit the whole community. With regulatory approval, the implementation of mobile money services will enable Bangladeshis to take advantage of more efficient, less time consuming and more secure new services and in the long run help alleviate poverty in Bangladesh.

Sri Lankan-based Dialog plans to introduce mCommerce services to the North and North--Central provinces of Sri Lanka. Dialog will focus on regions deficient in financial services infrastructure, and on initiatives to enhance people's lives by providing a range of mCommerce services at affordable prices including utility bill payment, person-to-person money transfers, over-the-counter payments and cash withdrawal/deposits.

Nortel's Loss Deepens in Q3, Metro Ethernet Down 26%

Nortel reported Q3 2009of $1,045 million, with declines year over year in all segments, except Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions (CVAS), and in all regions. These revenues exclude third quarter revenues related to Equity Investees' revenues of $348 million and $353 million related to discontinued operations. This compares with total revenues of $2,319 million in the third quarter of 2008. There was a net loss of $508 million compared to net loss of $3,413 million in the third quarter of 2008. Gross margin was 45.0 percent of revenues in the third quarter of 2009.

Nortel said its performance reflected the continuing economic downturn and the uncertainty created by its bankruptcy proceedings.

GSMA's Mobile Green Manifesto Seeks 4.5X Lower Emissions

A this week's Mobile Asia Congress in Hong Kong, the GSMA unveiled its "Mobile's Green Manifesto" -- a position paper that sets out how the mobile industry plans to lower its greenhouse gas emissions per connection, and demonstrates the key role that mobile communications can play in lowering emissions in other sectors and industries. It makes specific policy recommendations for governments and delegates attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen (COP15), December 7-18, to realize the full potential of the role that mobile communications can take in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.

The Green Manifesto was developed in collaboration with The Climate Group. Specific goals include:

  • To reduce its total global greenhouse gas emissions per connection by 40% by 2020 compared to 2009. This forecast covers all emissions from energy sources under the control of the mobile operators, including energy consumption from the radio network, buildings, and energy consumption and emissions from transport.

  • The mobile industry is aiming for carbon neutral growth. The number of mobile connections is set to rise by 70% to 8 billion by 2020 as the industry builds out a new generation of mobile broadband networks, bringing billions of people into the information economy. Despite this growth, the mobile industry forecasts that, through its activities, its total emissions will remain constant at 245 mega-tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e) - equivalent to 0.5% of total global emissions in 2020, or the greenhouse gas emissions of the Netherlands.

  • To work with handset vendors to ensure that the energy consumed by a typical handset, in standby and while being used, is reduced by 40% by 2020.

  • To work with equipment vendors to ensure that the life cycle emissions of network equipment components are reduced by 40% by 2020.

"With the right public policies in place, the mobile industry can make a major contribution in the fight against global warming, lowering emissions in other sectors by more than 4.5 times mobile's own footprint, which is the equivalent of taking one in every three cars off the road," said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board, GSMA. "The mobile industry could enable greenhouse gas emission reductions of 1,150 Mt CO2e in 2020 - twice the present emissions of the United Kingdom. We will be calling upon governments at COP15 to ensure that mobile solutions are at the forefront of the global fight to prevent climate change and mitigate its consequences."

Verizon: 80% of Security Products Do Not Perform as Intended

Nearly 80 percent of security products fail to perform as intended when first tested, according to ICSA Labs, an independent division of Verizon Business. Across seven product categories, core product functionality accounted for 78 percent of initial test failures -- for example, an anti-virus product failing to prevent infection or an IPS (intrusion prevention system) product failing to filter malicious traffic. ICSA Labs, which offers vendor-neutral testing and certification of security products, said failure of a product to completely and accurately log data was the second most common reason security products do not perform as intended. Incomplete or inaccurate logging of who did what and when accounted for 58 percent of initial failures.

The report findings suggest that some vendors and enterprise users consider logging a nuisance and merely a "box to check." According to the report, logging is a particular challenge for firewalls. Almost every network firewall (97 percent) or Web application firewall (80 percent) tested experienced at least one logging problem.

The third most significant reason for product failure is the finding that 44 percent of security products had inherent security problems, including vulnerabilities that compromise the confidentiality or integrity of the system and random behavior that affects product availability. http://

Vietnam's VMS Selects Alcatel-Lucent's Convergent Payment Solution

Vietnam Mobile Services Company (VMS) selected Alcatel-Lucent's Converged Payment solution for its 54 million pre- and post-paid mobile subscribers. To support the rapid subscriber growth of VMS, Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 8610 Instant Convergent Charging Suite (ICC) over 100% of the entire network. The ICC, which enables real-time rating and charging for voice and data services, will allow VMS to quickly bring to market new convergent mobile prepaid and post-paid services. Alcatel Lucent will also undertake the design, project management, integration, installation and commissioning of the solution.

"With this win, Alcatel-Lucent strengthens its foothold as a leading vendor in the Vietnam telecoms market. As the trusted solution vendor of VMS, we are committed to helping them develop and evolve their networks to provide new features and services to an ever-expanding subscriber base," said Sean Dolan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's activities in Asia-Pacific.

Sweden's TV4 Group Outsources to Ericsson

Sweden's TV4 Group awarded a ten-year contract to Ericsson to operate its nationwide playout services. In addition, Ericsson and TV4 Group will establish a joint technology and business development forum. As part of the deal, 40 employees from TV4 Group will be transferred to Ericsson.

In the technology and business development forum, the two companies will evaluate new business opportunities as TV4 Group develops its offering from standard linear TV to on-demand TV, giving viewers a more personalized viewing experience.

Since 2007, Ericsson has managed the playout services in the Nordic region for Canal+, which was acquired by TV4 group in 2008. With today's announcement, Ericsson will now be responsible for all playout services for the TV4 Group.

Telenor Denmark Selects NSN for HSPA+ and LTE

Telenor Denmark has selected Nokia Siemens Networks for a full upgrade of its 2G and 3G radio network to provide nationwide EDGE, HSPA and HSPA+ services based on its award winning Flexi Multiradio base station. The network will also be ready for LTE services. The agreement is for 6 years. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"This is the largest network upgrade we have ever made. We are improving capacity, stability and speed and will be able to offer consumers better mobile broadband services. The agreement will both deliver immediate network improvements and build a network that is ready to meet future consumer demands," said Henrik Clausen, CEO for Telenor in Denmark.

"As our first LTE agreement in a Nordic country, this is an important reference showcasing our capabilities in network technologies today and far into the future," said Joe Doering, head of North and East European region, Nokia Siemens Networks. "Having worked with Telenor over many years, we know we are best placed to support its efforts to offer superior mobile broadband to the Danish market."
  • As of 30 September 2009, Telenor Denmark had 2.0 million mobile subscriptions, 262,000 broadband subscriptions and 284,000 fixed telephony subscriptions (including VoIP). As at 30 September 2009, the mobile penetration and number of inhabitants in Denmark were 131% and 5.5 million, respectively.
  • F5 Enhances IP Geolocation with Quova

    F5 Networks will integrate Quova's IP geolocation technology in order to provide more intelligent context-aware application delivery solutions. The Quova technology maps IP addresses and related data to geographic locations at various levels of granularity. The contextual location information solves many security problems, such as enforcing download and access restrictions based on locality.

    F5 said the addition of Quova's IP geo data will allow F5 customers to solve a whole new range of business networking issues at the perimeter of the network rather than down at the web application level. Localization functions, such as setting the default language page and customizing content for a specific region, will also rely on the Quova data. For example, using Quova's continent, country, and worldwide state level geolocation data will enable the BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager (GTM) system to provide more accurate and more granular geographic traffic management. Customers will be able to accurately manage traffic inside large countries that have multiple data centers. Also, F5 solutions will now provide data that can aid in identifying the carrier or Internet service provider of an IP address.

    Zhone Selected by Hardy in West Virginia

    Hardy Telecommunications has selected Zhone platforms and SLMS Access Operating System to expand tiered broadband offerings to business and residential customers throughout its rural West Virginia serving area. Hardy will offer VoIP and high-speed data services using a combination of Zhone's ADSL2+ and DSL Reach technologies integrated via the SLMS Access Operating System. In addition to tiered broadband over copper and wireless services, Hardy plans to offer tiered bandwidth over fiber, VoIP over copper, VoIP over wireless and VoIP over fiber, further leveraging Zhone's any service/any media technology portfolio. Financial terms were not disclosed.

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    F5 Enhances BIG-IP for AAA Mobile Scalability

    F5 Networks, which specializes in layer 7 traffic management solutions, has enhanced its BIG-IP appliance to help mobile operators scale their authentication, authorization, and accounting (AAA) infrastructure, without incurring the costly and time-consuming process of replacing existing AAA servers. Existing AAA servers can become overloaded as mobile subscribers use more services. F5's solution helps service providers to protect services from unplanned outages and enables carriers to optimize traffic throughput on current AAA servers. Key capabilities of BIG-IP v10.1 include:

    • Support for Diameter and RADIUS protocols -- New traffic profiles and monitors specifically for Diameter and RADIUS traffic allow service providers to take advantage of the benefits of layer 7 traffic management -- including load balancing, inspection, redirection, high availability, and simplified scaling -- for their AAA infrastructure.

    • On-demand capacity to handle highest levels of traffic -- To help carriers manage massive volumes of revenue-generating traffic, F5 is introducing PB 200 blades for its VIPRION chassis. VIPRION and PB 200 blades provide the throughput needed today as well as a simple method for adding on-demand capacity to future-proof a carriers' infrastructure.

    • Carrier-class availability with Fast Failover -- New failover methods use a combination of metrics to determine when to switch to the standby unit, and reduce the failover time to fractions of a second. Fast Failover, combined with new monitors and carrier-grade hardware, can significantly reduce downtime.

    • Seamless strategy for staging network migration as IPv6 traffic grows -- The BIG-IP IPv6 Gateway feature ensures a carriers' ability to leverage the scalability of IPv6 for all their mobile devices, while still connecting to legacy IPv4 networks.

    • Total traffic control with iRules -- F5's powerful event-driven programming language, iRules, allows system integrators to integrate BIG-IP into their total solution, providing advanced, customized traffic management, such as policy-based traffic steering.

    SC09: 100 Gbps Optical Transport from Seattle to Portland

    This week's SC09 Conference in Portland, Oregon features a multivendor 100Gbps routing and optical network demonstration backed by Infinera, Internet2, Juniper Networks and Level 3. In this demonstration, 100Gbps of test data (generated by an Ixia test set) was transmitted from Portland to Seattle through a single slot on the Juniper Networks T1600 Series Core Router, populated with a new 10x10GbE physical interface card via an Infinera optical system, over Level 3 and Internet2's nationwide fiber-optic network. The data was then looped back to Juniper's T1600 Series Core Router in Juniper's booth on the SC09 show floor in Portland.

    These 100Gbps demonstrations represent the continued advances made by the joint initiative -- announced last year at SC08 -- between the U.S. Dept. of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet), Internet2, Infinera, Juniper Networks and Level 3 Communications. The five organizations announced an initiative to work together to develop and deploy 100GbE services. ESnet and Internet2 are planning testbeds and eventual production deployment of 100GbE.

    "With ‘Big Science' projects like the Large Hadron Collider expected to be generating data flows of 100Gbps as soon as 2010, it's clear that the world's scientific research and education community needs to move beyond groups of 10Gbps waves and be ready with 100GbE solutions in the very near term," said Kanaiya Vasani, vice president of product management, High-End Systems Business Unit, Juniper Networks.

    Juniper Debuts 10x10GbE Interface for Core Router

    Juniper Networks introduced a new 10 port, 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Physical Interface Card (PIC) for its T1600 Series Core Router.

    The new interface card, which is expected to ship commercially in Q1 2010, provides the highest density of 10GbE interfaces on a core router so far. It also features a unique Intelligent Oversubscription capability that can be used to aggregate client-facing access interfaces, or to provide efficient connectivity in and between virtualized routers. This will increase the flexibility of the T1600 and will enable customers to use the router in more diverse deployment scenarios, and to more efficiently leverage virtualization to consolidate edge and core functionality. Intelligent Oversubscription can prioritize services based on a variety of user-configurable characteristics to ensure that mission-critical services are protected even in times of congestion.

    The T1600 can support a total of sixteen 10x10GbE PICs per chassis, for a total of 160 10GbE interfaces in a half-rack--more than twice that of the closest competitor. As many as 80 of these interfaces can operate at line-rate speed, or the T1600 can be oversubscribed at a 2:1 ratio.

    With the new 10x10GbE PIC and the previously announced 100GbE PIC, the T1600 will support multiple options for 100Gbps.

    "The combination of this new high-density 10x10GbE PIC, along with the 802.3ba 100GbE PIC earlier announced by Juniper, provides an incredible amount of flexibility and growth to the already impressive T1600," said Chris Robb, Internet2 manager of network operations.

    Mellanox Announces 120 Gbps Per Port InfiniBand Switch Systems

    Mellanox Technologies unveiled the industry's first 120 Gbps per port InfiniBand switch systems. The new members of the IS5000 switch system family, which are based on the company's fourth generation InfiniScale IV switching silicon, are aimed at high-performance computing, cloud infrastructures and enterprise data centers. The new switch solutions reduce network congestion and the number of network cables by a factor of three. Mellanox IS5000 family of switch systems, consisting of un-managed and managed edge switches and director-class modular switches, provide industry-leading 51.8 Tbps of non-blocking bandwidth in a single enclosure. Commercial release is expected in the first half of 2010.

    "As supercomputers scale, new challenges are created in performance and cabling," said John Monson, vice president of marketing at Mellanox Technologies. "Mellanox's new comprehensive family of 120Gb/s switch solutions deliver the performance, density and scalability for large-scale clusters, and provide researchers with essential building blocks for constructing the next generation of Petascale-class clusters."

    Separately, Mellanox announced that its ConnectX-2 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapter cards are available now for HP ProLiant BL, DL and SL series servers, as well as HP BladeSystem c-Class enclosures. Mellanox's ConnectX-2 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapter cards with CORE-Direct enable significant improvements in application performance and scalability and increase the productivity of HP-based compute clusters.

    "As supercomputers increase in size from mere thousands to hundreds-of-thousands of processor cores, new performance and scalability challenges have emerged," said Monson. "The combination of Mellanox ConnectX-2 40Gb/s InfiniBand adapters with CORE-Direct application interprocessor communication offload and HP ProLiant servers provide end-customers with the highest performance, efficiency and scalability for their next-generation, high-processor node count supercomputer."

    Arista, Fulcrum and Ixia Test 10-Gigabit Ethernet for Cloud Networking

    Arista Networks, Fulcrum Microsystems and Ixia announced the results of collaborative performance and scalability testing of 10-Gigabit Ethernet in a cloud computing environment. The tests measured the performance of the Arista 7148SX 48-port 10GE SFP+ switch, which features Fulcrum's FocalPoint FM4224 switch silicon. The tests used full line-rate, large-scale traffic running fully meshed and yielded results that validated the switch's ability to provide the low-latency and throughput performance for lossless data center Ethernet transmission.

    According to the companies, the test results showed "extraordinarily low latency" in the Arista switch -- as low as 600 nanoseconds (min) between any two ports -- and lossless performance for all frame sizes using IETF RFC 2544 and 2889 throughput test methodologies. This performance means scale-out environments can now get true non-blocking performance using the Arista 7148SX switches, as shown by the absence of packet drops in the RFC 2889 full-mesh test results.

    Ruckus Wireless Extends Smart Wi-Fi to Urban Mesh Networks

    Ruckus Wireless has extended its "Smart Wi-Fi" intelligent beam steering technology beyond home and enterprise networking into an end-to-end managed, wireless broadband access (WBA) solution.

    By combining its beam steering technology with the additional performance boost of 802.11n, Ruckus Wireless believes carrier-grade Wi-Fi services can be delivered in developing urban environments at a fraction of the cost of WiMAX, while overcoming technical hurdles that stymied previous metro Wi-Fi attempts. In particular, the company's dynamic beamforming software addresses the interference problems that have plagued previous outdoor Wi-Fi networks. The Ruckus dynamic antenna system also enables more efficient spatial reuse in wireless mesh networks - by varying the direction of each packet transmission, adjacent mesh APs often can transmit simultaneously on the same channel thereby maximizing network capacity. The solution is aimed at concentrated urban areas where people eat, shop, live or congregate.

    The Ruckus WBA solution includes outdoor mesh APs, customer premises equipment (CPE), a new line of smart Wi-Fi backhaul systems and system-wide remote management. These include: ZoneFlex 7762, a dual-band 802.11n Smart Wi-Fi outdoor access point; ZoneFlex 2741, an 802.11g Smart Wi-Fi outdoor access point; and ZoneFlex 7731, a new high-gain, point-to-point 802.11n (5GHz) backhaul system that extends Wi-Fi signals over kilometers at data rates up to 300 Mbps over a secure link. The company's customer premises equipment includes its MediaFlex 2200, a purpose-built wireless gateway that reliably extends Wi-Fi signals indoors.

    Ruckus Smart Mesh networking routes traffic over wired and wirelessly meshed APs, using the highest performing path in real time. It allows APs to be aggregated over gigabit Ethernet for capacity without the overhead of additional mesh hops.

    Ruckus Wireless cited two lead customers: WiNet Broadband in Malaysia, which plans to deploy 4,000 nodes by the end of 2010 and is targeting to attract 250,000 subscribers by the end of 2010; and India's Tikona Digital Network.

    GIPS Targets HD VoIP Apps for Android

    Global IP Solutions is enabling Android mobile application developers to build VoIP-enabled clients with its GIPS VoiceEngine Mobile technology.

    Nimbuzz, the popular free mobile social messaging application, will be the first customer to offer HD voice (VoIP) on Android phones.

    "GIPS VoiceEngine allows Android developers to build VoIP-enabled applications that offer HD voice, while tackling all the typical IP network issues - such as delay, jitter, packet loss, bandwidth constraints, noise and echo," said Roar Hagen, GIPS' Chief Technology Officer. "Today, mobile users desire a smartphone that offers a unique experience, which includes the ability to have great quality communication. With GIPS engineering expertise, developers can quickly and effectively build their applications enabling them to concentrate on their core business."

    Motorola to Acquire BitBand for IPTV

    Motorola agreed to acquire BitBand, a provider of IPTV content management and delivery systems, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions, is expected to close in Q4 2009. BitBand will be integrated into Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility business.

    Based in Netanya, Israel, BitBand has more than 60 commercial IPTV deployments worldwide, including TELE2 (Holland), Fastweb (Italy), and Swyazinvest (Russia).

    Motorola said the acquisition of BitBand will complement its existing on demand product line which includes the Adaptive Media Management framework for content management and high-performance streaming servers for centralized and edge-based on demand networks. BitBand brings products tailored for IP video and expertise in IPTV solutions, as well as solutions for Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and Over-the-Top video services.