Monday, December 14, 2009

BLOCKBUSTER Deploys Widevine for Internet Movie Service

Widevine announced a deal to supply its DRM and video optimization for the BLOCKBUSTER On Demand Service, which enable U.S. customers to browse and rent movie titles directly through an connected device such as Samsung's Blu-ray players and televisions.

Widevine said its multiplatform, multiformat DRM solution enables Blockbuster to deliver content to any device, in any format for the widest audience possible. Its video optimization tools are optimized for content streamed over the Internet. This includes instant startups, no buffering and trick play capabilities such as rewind, fast-forward and bookmarking for multi-location viewing.

Russia's Yota Builds Mobile WiMAX Network in Nicaragua

Yota, which operates mobile WiMAX networks in Moscow, ST. Petersburg and other Russian cities, is also deploying mobile WiMAX in Managua, Nicaragua. The Yota network was rolled out in record time - in three months since the beginning of construction.

In July 2009, the public international tender for 2.5-2.7 GHz spectrum was announced in order to provide the whole territory of Nicaragua with communications services based upon the Mobile WiMAX standard. Yota became the winner of the tender.

Yota will start to operate in Nicaragua with its wireless broadband Internet access service. Later the company plans to increase the number of services and will concentrate on the high-quality voice services demanded in the market.

Yota also plans further WiMAX rollouts in Latin America, CIS as well as other countries in Asia and Africa.

Comcast Launches On Demand Online Fancast Service

Comcast announced nationwide availability of its Fancast XFINITY TV online service in in beta at no additional cost to customers. The new service gives customers an "anytime anywhere" entertainment experience -- at home and on-the-go - and expands the video content customers can watch online by giving them quick and easy access to thousands of hours of cable TV shows, movies and independently produced content.

Both Comcast customers and non-Comcast customers across the nation currently have access to over 12,000 hours of great online content through -- the company's online TV site and a top TV destination on the web -- for free. Comcast cable customers gain access to thousands of additional titles from the cable channels in their subscription packages.

"This is a beta product only, but the consumer feedback has been great so far. We look forward to more feedback as we make it available to even more customers" said Amy Banse, President of Comcast Interactive Media. "We think Fancast XFINITY TV gets us one step closer to our multiplatform goal and is just the beginning of delivering an entirely new TV viewing experience."

Sandvine and Optenet Develop Network-based Parental Controls

Sandvine and Optenet announced a strategic partnership to launch optimized parental controls for broadband subscribers worldwide. The integrated solution leverages OpenNet's content filtering and threat analysis technology and Sandvine's application- and subscriber-awareness platform.

The companies said their joint solution provides real-time classification of Web content, with the capability for subscribers to configure preferences at an individual and household level to determine what content is acceptable. It allows operators to provide an integrated residential broadband service, including enhanced parental control capability. End-users do not have to seek additional protection from a third-party security vendor.

The joint parental controls solution has been successfully integrated in a third-party lab environment, demonstrating readiness for deployment in service provider networks.

HDBaseT Alliance Targets Whole-home Video Distribution

A new cross-industry HDBaseT Alliance has been established to promote and standardize "HDBaseT" technology for whole-home distribution of uncompressed HD multimedia content. Founding members of the group include LG Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Valens Semiconductor.

HDBaseT aims to provide a way to connect TVs and other display equipment with entertainment devices, such as a Blu-ray DVD player, for in-home converged distribution of HD multimedia content. A single LAN cable supports uncompressed full HD digital video, audio, 100BaseT Ethernet, power over cable and various control signals.

SK Telecom Selects Alcatel-Lucent's Packet Optical Transport

SK Telecom, which serves over 24 million mobile subscribers in Korea, awarded a new contract to Alcatel-Lucent to deploy a mobile backhaul network and assist SK Telecom's Packet Transport System (PTS) business in its network evolution.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS) implementing innovative features like T-MPLS with alignment with MPLS-TP, to optimize traffic transport and aggregation from the base stations to the core networks. As multiple traffic types -- from TDM to Ethernet to packet -- are handled onto the same platform, SK Telecom is taking a significant step in network simplification for minimized operational expenditures. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Hibernia Acquires MediaXstream for HD Video Transport

Hibernia Atlantic, which operates a trans-Atlantic undersea cable system, has acquired MediaXstream Inc., a provider of transport and managed network services for the media production and broadcast industries.

MediaXstream is currently operational in 20 major markets in the U.S. and Europe, serving the increasingly growing demand for High Definition video networking and production services by TV and film production, sports, news, mobile content and IPTV.

Hibernia Atlantic said that by adding MediaXstream's high quality transport services to its financial and carrier-focused network, the combined reach, performance and product offering will add significant marketplace opportunities, technological innovation and customer value. In particular, the deal significantly expands the network reach of MediaXstream into more than 10 key European markets while MediaXstream expands Hibernia's North American network to 17 additional key Points of Presence in 14 new cities in the South and West, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, Denver, Tampa, Miami, Atlanta, Washington DC, Baltimore, San Diego and Las Vegas.

Silver Spring Networks Raises $100 Million for Smart Grid solutions

Silver Spring Networks, a start-up based in Redwood City, California, announced the closing of a $100 million preferred equity round to support its development of new smart grid applications.

The investment round was led by institutional investors and included existing investors Google Ventures, Foundation Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Northgate Capital.

Silver Spring provides the hardware, software and services that allow utilities to deploy advanced applications, including Smart Metering, Demand Response, Distribution Automation and Distributed Generation, over a single, unified network. Silver Spring's Smart Energy Platform is based on IP standards, allowing continuous, two-way communication between the utility and devices on the grid.

"We have a terrific opportunity to accelerate the development and deployment of next generation smart grid initiatives," said Warren Jenson, Chief Financial Officer of Silver Spring Networks. "At a time when world leaders have gathered in Copenhagen, we're honored to be partnering with some of the most progressive utilities in the world to address energy efficiency by building out the smart grid. We are pleased to have a great set of investors that share our vision."

Verizon Wireless Adds Free Access at Thousands of Wi-Fi Hotspots

Verizon Wireless has begun offering its mobile broadband customers with access to thousands of Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional charge. Verizon Wi-Fi is available in locations across the United States, including airports, bookstores, coffee shops, hotels and other public locations. The service is also available at locations in Canada and Mexico, so customers can reduce data roaming charges in those countries when connected to a Verizon Wi-Fi hotspot. Customers must have a monthly Mobile Broadband or GlobalAccess plan.

Broadcom Supports IEEE P802.3az Energy Saving Silicon

Broadcom announced a range of new silicon devices that support the Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) IEEE P802.3az draft standard, including new Ethernet controller and physical layer (PHY) device solutions.

The IEEE P802.3az specification provides for energy savings at the PHY level when the network link is idle. Network infrastructure components can take advantage of power savings when the network stack experiences periods of inactivity, starting with both sides of the media access controller (MAC)/PHY interface, when a port is in EEE mode.

On top of this, Broadcom said its Energy Efficient Networking provides additional power savings by:

  • Supporting the enhanced Layer 2 savings mechanism (currently optional for triple speed products and mandatory for 10 Gigabit speeds in the IEEE 802.3az specification).

  • Implementing comprehensive control policies in Broadcom PHY and controller chips that allow for optimized, customizable and enhanced energy savings for a wide variety of applications.

  • Broadcom Energy Efficient Networking implements energy savings metrics that allow Broadcom end-customers to quantify the savings that are realized during operation.

  • A Broadcom EEE draft-compliant PHY lowers power consumption by up to 70% during periods of low traffic utilization when compared to a PHY without EEE implemented. The overall power consumption is reduced on products including switches, storage systems, servers and personal computers that have a Broadcom EEE-enabled PHY in their design.

  • Broadcom's AutoGrEEEn technology allows a Broadcom EEE-enabled PHY to be in EEE mode when interfacing with a non-EEE enabled MAC, without requiring changes to the non-EEE device.

The new silicon includes a highly integrated Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) controller targeted for PC applications. It integrates both the Ethernet MAC and PHY on a single chip to provide wired network connectivity for desktop, notebook and netbook systems. Broadcom is also introducing a highly integrated GbE controller and 5-in-1 memory card reader supporting the latest standard for memory cards, and a dual-port GbE controller targeted for server and workstation applications supporting a PCI Express v2.0-compliant host interface.

Optimum Lightpath Builds Ethernet Services with Tellabs

Optimum Lightpath is working with Tellabs to build its next-generation optical network in Connecticut, New Jersey and New York. The network will support a variety of aggregated Ethernet services and optical wavelength services, along with integrated time division multiplexing (TDM) and packet switching features. Financial terms were not disclosed.

AT&T Wins MEF Carrier Ethernet Service Provider Award

AT&T was awarded a 2009 MEF Carrier Ethernet Service Provider award for the Best Service Portfolio.

IBM Selected for SmartGrid Pilot in Australia

IBM has been selected by Australian energy provider Western Power as the systems integration and project management partner for its SmartGrid-Advanced Meter Infrastructure pilot program. Specifically, IBM will build a roadmap for the design and implementation of an intelligent network, comprising smart meters and a communications backbone that will enable Western Power to deliver more reliable, sustainable and cost effective energy solutions to homes and businesses in the south-west of Western Australia.

BBN Wins Army Contract for Network Science Research Center

Raytheon BBN Technologies was awarded an $81 million contract by the Army Research Laboratory to create a collaborative technology alliance in network science.

Under the five-year contract, Raytheon BBN Technologies will pursue fundamental research in network science to identify the commonalities that apply to diverse kinds of networks.

The ARL Network Science Collaborative Technology Alliance will examine communication, information, and social and cognitive networks and will include leading researchers from all of these disciplines. The effort will include more than 30 university and industrial labs. An Interdisciplinary Research Center (IRC) will be established at the Raytheon BBN Technologies headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Continuous Computing Develops Application-Ready LTE EPC Systems

Continuous Computing has incorporated Trillium FastPath protocol software into its pre-integrated, application-ready system solutions for Long Term Evolution (LTE) Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network elements.

Leveraging the 6WINDGate software suite from 6WIND, Trillium FastPath enables key protocols such as Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) and GPRS Tunneling Protocol (GTP) to move into the native execution environment on Continuous Computing's ATCA-PP50 packet processing blade. The company said it is able to achieve performance gains of up to 3X over generic implementations for next generation mobile cores.

The Third Generations Partnership Project's (3GPP) choice of SCTP as the IP-transport layer for all signaling in the LTE EPC has created a significant strain on SCTP processing that was not anticipated when the protocol was first defined. In addition, the focus on small cell wireless deployments has also increased the sheer number of SCTP connections that need to be managed by the EPC. While the built-in reliability mechanisms of SCTP are attractive for providing carrier-grade networks, they create substantial overhead and thus generic SCTP implementations are unable to scale sufficiently to meet the massive core networking requirements of the EPC.

Similarly, 3GPP has identified GTP as the primary bearer plane protocol in the EPC. Since each LTE eNodeB could provide more than seven times the current throughput of today's 3G base stations, the EPC will be expected to handle a much larger amount of data traffic than legacy mobile networks. Coupled with the fact that both voice and data are expected to traverse the core and that consumer appetite for data remains insatiable, the EPC must be built to support massive data plane scalability. Trillium FastPath SCTP and GTP are designed to meet these demands whereas standard implementations fall short.

Trillium FastPath software complements the company's extensive selection of Trillium LTE protocols, including S1AP, X2AP, Diameter and more. All Trillium LTE protocol stacks are optimized for multi-core / multi-threaded processing architectures and each stack includes a reference application for the relevant LTE network interfaces including LTE-Uu, S1, S6, S7, S10 and X2.

TelisSonera Reports 20-80 Mbps on New LTE Service

In a press conference launching its new LTE service in Stockholm and Oslo, TeliaSonera said it is delivering up to 100 Mbps downlink rates with both the network and the LTE modem. Typical user rates are expected to be in the 20-80 Mbps range. The service uses a Samsung LTE dongle modem.

The Samsung dongles currently are 4G only, although TeliaSonera expects to offer models with a fall-back to 3G in those locations outside of its LTE footprint.

TeliaSonera has three nation wide 4G/LTE licenses; in Sweden, Norway and also recently in Finland. The network roll out is in progress to offer 4G to Sweden's and Norway's largest cities.

Evaluation of suppliers for TeliaSonera's common 4G core network and radio networks in the Nordic and Baltic countries is in progress and vendors will be selected in the beginning of 2010.

Ericsson provided TeliaSonera with LTE Radio Base stations, which are part of the new RBS6000 series, an Evolved Packet Core network, a mobile backhaul solution including SmartEdge 1200 routers, the latest EDA multi-access aggregation switch and an Operation and Management System. The LTE system is based on 3GPP standards for Long Term Evolution (LTE) radio technology and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) technology.

Huawei delivered both network infrastructure and services, including access network gear, core network equipment, operation support systems, and network planning and optimization.

Nortel Confirms 100G Optical Shipments

Nortel confirmed commercial sales of its 100 G optical transmission solution. The capabilities are delivered using two new, compact 100G cards within Nortel's flagship Optical Multiservice Edge 6500 platform . Nortel's Common Photonic Layer line system can also be used as part of the 100G solution for in-line amplification and wavelength switching.

Nortel's 100G solution provides for single-channel 100G transmission in a format that can coexist over the same fiber infrastructure with 10G and 40G networks. A Nortel 100G line card transmits the full 112Gbps payload within a single ITU standard 50GHz-spaced channel, allowing for a full 88 wavelengths over a single fiber.

Nortel said its 100G solution is based on technologies such as coherent detection, DP QPSK modulation, and advanced electronic digital signal processing techniques, all of which Nortel is the first and only vendor to successfully commercialize to date. More than 50 service providers and operators worldwide already rely on these technologies in live deployments of Nortel's 40G solution, which has been generally available since May 2008. In addition to Verizon's industry-first live 100G deployment, Nortel has previously conducted eight successful trials of its 100G solution with service providers around the world.

New Submarine Cable Links Reunion in Indian Ocean

A new Lower Indian Ocean Network (LION) submarine cable was officially inaugurated in Reunion, an island located in the Indian Ocean that is one of the overseas d├ępartements of France.

The new submarine cable, which connects Madagascar, Reunion and Mauritius, adds significantly to the broadband capabilities of the island. It was financed by a consortium made up of Orange Madagascar, Mauritius Telecom and France Telecom S.A.

Dell'Oro: Wireless LAN Market Surges

The worldwide Wireless LAN market grew to more than $1 billion in the third quarter of this year, due in large part to the increased spending in the healthcare and education sectors, as well as a rise in sales of higher valued 802.11n products, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

According to the report, product revenues for Cisco, HP, and Enterasys each grew more than 30 percent in the third quarter. HP's wireless LAN product revenues were the strongest ever, growing more than 60 percent in the third quarter.

"Second quarter 2009 supply constraints were largely resolved, and overall Wireless LAN market revenues rebounded to pre-2009 recession levels," stated Loren Shalinsky, Senior Analyst of Wireless LAN research at Dell'Oro Group. "During the third quarter, the overall market was boosted by strong growth in the enterprise segment. In particular, Cisco benefited from strong sales in North America and HP showed strength in the hospitality sector with sales of their integrated wireless LAN and wired access device," added Shalinsky.

IEEE Forms SIEPON Working Group

The IEEE Standards Association is forming a new Working Group with the task of developing a new communications standard, IEEE P1904.1, "Standard for Service Interoperability in Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (SIEPON)."

Ethernet Passive Optical Networks (EPON) already serves an estimated 30 million subscriber lines using 1G technology. Deployment volumes are soon expected to reach more than 10 million new subscribers annually. The SIEPON standard project will develop system-level specifications, targeting "plug-and-play" interoperability of the transport, service, and control planes in a multi-vendor environment.