Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cisco's Space Router Passes in-Orbit Test

Cisco announced the first successful in-orbit test of its Internet Routing in Space (IRIS) technology. The test was conducted on-board Intelsat's new IS-14 GEO satellite, which was launched on Nov. 23, 2009.

Cisco IRIS is a program to build a radiation-tolerant IP router for satellite and related spacecraft. The IRIS payload will support network services for voice, video and data communications, helping enable government agencies, military units and allied forces to communicate with one another using Internet Protocol and existing ground equipment.

The company noted that IRIS can route data to multiple ground receivers in a single step, eliminating the need to double-hop to a teleport and therefore reducing latency and increasing transponder utilization. The software on the Cisco router and onboard modem can be upgraded in orbit, which increases flexibility.

The IRIS program is a Department of Defense Joint Capability Technology Demonstration (JCTD) managed by Cisco and Intelsat General Corp. The IRIS payload will convert to commercial use following the three-month JCTD ending in April 2010.

China Telecom Launches CDMA2000 EV-DO Rev.B with Huawei

Huawei has delivered CDMA2000 1x EV-DO Rev.B networks in Beijing and Guangzhou for China Telecom.

The EV-DO Rev.B networks are the fastest 3G networks to date in China, supporting downlink data rates of up to 9.3 Mbps per user. Based on 2.1GHz and 800MHz dual-band, the EV-DO Rev.B networks will be able to enhance the carrying capacity to deal with the explosion of data services and provide stable and reliable high-speed mobile broadband experiences for 3G users.

Zhao Ming, President of Huawei CDMA Product Line, said "Huawei is fully engaged with world leading CDMA operators, including China Telecom to drive CDMA's evolution and commercial development. Establishing two EV-DO Rev.B networks for China Telecom in a short time demonstrate Huawei' s commitment to providing our customers with innovative mobile broadband services. "http://www.huawei.comhttp://

China Telecom: 56M Mobile, 53M Broadband, 188M Land Lines

The number of local access lines served by China Telecom continues to decrease at an accelerating rate. In December, China Telecom disconnected 2.53 million local access lines, ending the year with 188 million access lines in service. This compares with 208 million local access lines at the end of 2008.

Broadband lines continue to grow, although at a slower pace. China Telecom added 620,000 broadband lines in December 2009 -- its lowest number for the year. With an installed base of 53 million broadband users, China Telecom retains the title as the world's largest broadband operator.

Meanwhile, China Telecom added a near record number of mobile users during December 2009 -- over 3.1 million new mobile accounts. This gives the company a mobile base of over 56 million users -- more than double the figure from a year earlier.

NTT Com Further Expands Footprint in China

NTT Communications announced a further expansion in China. Next month, NTT Com will open a new branch office in Wuhan, Hubei Province. the company will aslo launch of a new point of presence (POP) for its Arcstar Global IP-VPN managed network services in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province.

NTT Com currently operates branches mainly near China's coast, including Dalian, Tianjin, Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Guangzhou. The Wuhan branch will enhance NTT Com's provision of ICT solutions, including fast support for operation and maintenance, in central China.

The new POP in Guangzhou is now serving China's second highest concentration of Japanese and other multinationals, following only the Shanghai area.

Sony Ericsson Expects Slight Grow in Mobile Device Market in 2010

Sony Ericsson shipped 14.6 million mobile devices in Q4 2009, a sequential increase of 3% and a year-on-year decrease of 40%. Sales for the quarter were EUR 1,750 million, a sequential increase of 8% and a year-on-year decrease of 40%. The sequential increase was driven by market seasonality and successful sales of it "Satio" and "Aino" phones. The year-on-year decrease in both units and sales was mainly due to a downturn in the global handset market and a faster than anticipated shift to touch screen phones in the mid-priced sector of the market. Average Selling Price (ASP) for the quarter rose sequentially by 5% to Euro 120 due to a more favourable product mix.

Gross margin percentage improved sequentially and year-on-year mainly driven by the successful sales of new, higher-margin phones as well as the positive impact of cost reduction activities.

Bert Nordberg, President, Sony Ericsson stated: "Continued cost saving activities and resource realignment are necessary in order to build a leaner, more efficient organisation capable of meeting the demands of the changing competitive landscape. We will continue to focus on returning the company to profitability by establishing Sony Ericsson as the communication entertainment brand based on an exciting portfolio of mid- and high-end products, such as our recently announced Android-based phone, the "XPERIA" X10. 2010 will still be challenging as the full benefit of cost improvements will not impact results until the second half of the year, however we are confident that our business is on the right track."

Sony Ericsson's income before taxes for the quarter, excluding restructuring charges, was a loss of EUR 40 million compared to a loss of EUR 198 million in the previous quarter. The reduced loss was due to the improved gross margin and the benefits of reduced operating expenses. Excluding restructuring charges, Sony Ericsson made a loss for the full year 2009 of Euro 878 million compared with an income of Euro 92 million in 2008. The year-on-year deterioration was mainly attributable to the lower sales.

As of December 31, 2009, Sony Ericsson had a net cash position of Euro 620 million.

ST-Ericsson Posts Loss in Q4 2009

ST-Ericsson reported Q4 2009 net sales of $740 million and a net loss of $125 million.

The company said its $230 million savings restructuring plan, which was first announced on April 29 2009 and due to be completed by the second quarter of 2010, is currently in progress and its effects in the fourth quarter 2009 have been in line with plans. ST-Ericsson noted that visibility in the medium term is somewhat limited.

President and CEO, Gilles Delfassy, commented: "2009 has been a challenging year for our industry. For ST-Ericsson, the challenge was especially great. We had to strive to maintain our positioning, while also setting the foundations for sustainable and profitable growth. We will achieve this by rapidly integrating the businesses we have merged and by transitioning to the new portfolio strategy we devised for our next generation offering. During its first year, the company has made good progress in all areas, but more still needs to be done."

Comcast Hires Former CEO of Charter Communications

Comcast announced the appointment of Neil Smit as President, Comcast Cable Communications. Smit, who will report to Steve Burke, Chief Operating Officer of Comcast, will be responsible for all business aspects of the company's cable operations.

Smit joins Comcast from Charter Communications, where he served as Chief Executive Officer and Director since 2005. Prior to joining Charter, Mr. Smit was the President of Time Warner's America Online Access Business overseeing Internet access services, including America Online (AOL), CompuServe and Netscape ISPs.

Northstream Measures Telia's LTE at 12 Mbps Max Downlink

Telia's newly launched LTE service delivers better responsiveless than a 3G network but disappoints somewhat in terms of downlink rates, according to a blog posting by Northstream, a management consulting company with offices in Stockholm and Helsinki. Northstream reports that downlink rates never exceeded 12 Mbps in its series of outdoor tests, although it was able to deliver 5 Mbps upstream.
  • In a press conference in December 2009 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. The carrier said typical user rates are expected to be in the 20-80 Mbps range. The service uses a Samsung LTE dongle modem.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

RADWIN Offers 100 Mbps Wireless IP Backhaul

RADWIN announced the release of its new RADWIN 2000 C-Series radio, delivering 100 Mbps asymmetric throughput. The design offers up to 16 E1s/T1s + Ethernet on one platform at ranges of up to 120 km/75 miles.

RADWIN said the new platform features an Adaptive Asymmetric capacity whereby bandwidth is automatically allocated between uplink and downlink based on traffic loads and air-interface conditions. The RADWIN 2000 C-Series incorporates MIMO, OFDM and Diversity, together with unique proprietary protocols to ensure robustness and resiliency in operation in the sub-6 GHz bands.

The platform is designed to be simple to install and maintain. Deployment scenarios include non-line-of-sight scenarios, interference-ridden environments and extreme temperatures. The future-proof systems support 100 Mbps in first release, and will support 200 Mbps net aggregate throughput in Q2/2010 via free software upgrade.

Aircell Secures $176 Million of Equity Financing

Aircell announced the completion of the private placement of equity securities totaling $176 million to new and existing investors. Proceeds of the financing will be utilized to provide funding for capital investments for network expansion and operating needs during this rapid growth phase of the business.

The company said it has steadily increased the daily number of airplanes deployed with Gogo. It currently is providing service on more than 700 commercial aircraft, with commitments from a total of nine airlines.

Nokia Makes Navigation Free for Smartphones

Nokia will make navigation functionality free for its smartphones. The new version of Ovi Maps includes high-end car and pedestrian navigation features, such as turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries, in 46 languages, and traffic information for more than 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for more than 180 countries.

Nokia said its decision to make navigation free will enable it to quickly activate a massive user base to which it can offer new location features, content and services. This is part of Nokia's strategy to lead the market in mobile maps, navigation and location-based services. The move is also in line with Nokia's vision that the next wave of growth will be centered on the location-aware, social internet -- as the 'where' people are doing things becomes as important as the 'what' they are doing.

"Why have multiple devices that work that work in only one country or region? Put it all together, make it free, make it global and you almost double the potential size of the mobile navigation market," explained Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia. "Nokia is the only company with a mobile navigation service for both drivers and pedestrians that works across the world. Unlike the legacy car navigation manufacturers, we don't make you buy maps for different countries or regions even if you're only visiting for a few days."

Ericsson to Supply 84Mbps HSPA for 3 Scandinavia

Ericsson was selected to upgrade 3 Scandinavia's HSPA network from peak downlink speeds of 21 Mbps to peak downlink speeds of 84 Mbps. To greatly improve coverage, the upgrade will be complemented by a new 900MHz 3G network. The rollout will occur across Denmark and in four cities in Sweden.

The three-year contract between Ericsson and 3 includes the HSPA Evolution capacity upgrade of its existing 3G network, via 42Mbps, to 84Mbps plus a new WCDMA/HSPA radio access network on the 900MHz frequency band. In addition, Ericsson is providing IP-based optical and microwave backhaul, and support services. Rollout will start in the first quarter of 2010. Financial terms were not disclosed.

BT Plans 40 Mbps Internet for £20 per month

BT Retail announced pricing for a new "super>fast" broadband service, BT Infinity. The new consumer service uses FTTP to offer download speeds of up to 40 Mbps for £19.99 per month, a saving of £7.47 per month on Virgin Media's XXL highest speed service. Upstream speeds will reach at up to 10 Mbps for a premium service priced at £24.99 per month.

Customers in Muswell Hill, Whitchurch and Glasgow Halfway have been enjoying the faster speeds through a BT trial. The service will be made available to 4 million homes and businesses by the end of December 2010, following the roll out of the technology by Openreach, BT's local access division.

BT is also launching a new super>fast broadband service to business which will be known as BT Business Total Broadband Fibre. From 25th January, new and existing BT Total Broadband and BT Business customers in an enabled exchange areas will automatically be eligible for the up to 40 Mb/s broadband service.

Openreach is currently planning to roll out super-fast broadband to 40% of the UK by 2012. At present, a trial is underway in Muswell Hill (North London), Whitchurch (Cardiff) and Halfway (Glasgow) until March 2010.

FiberTower Buys Capacity from FiberLight

FiberTower, a wireless backhaul services provider, has expanded its fiber footprint with a purchase of approximately 4,000 miles of dark fiber from FiberLight.

The deal increases FiberTower's current fiber footprint in eight of its core markets. In addition to the initial purchase, FiberTower secured contractual rights to increase its capacity by up to an additional 8,000 fiber miles over the next 6 years.

Solarflare Ships 10GbE Server Adapter

Solarflare Communications began shipping its branded 10GbE server adapter.
The Solarflare SFN4112F, which is currently under trial or deployed in operational networks at numerous major banks and exchanges, provides financial services customers with both sub-5 microsecond TCP/UDP application latency and unmatched message rate performance. The adapter features Solarflare's OpenOnload technology, which is binary compatible with industry standard BSD sockets API, thereby providing acceleration to TCP/UDP applications without modifications to existing applications. Further, OpenOnload reduces latency jitter, bringing a greater level of predictability to message processing latencyhttp://www.solarflare.comhttp://

Australia's National Broadband Network Selects Alcatel-Lucent for Optical

Nextgen Networks, which was recently selected to construct Australia's new broadband backbone infrastructure under the A$250 million Regional Backbone Blackspots Program, has picked Alcatel-Lucent to be its major optical equipment supplier. Alcatel-Lucent will deliver its long haul DWDM platform, photonic service switches (PSS) and transport service switches (TSS).

Alcatel-Lucent will provide its 1626 Light Manager (LM) and 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) regional DWDM solution, leveraging the unique Zero Touch Photonics approach to deliver high network performance and flexibility for service quality assurance including a world-first wavelength tracker to improve traffic monitoring and fault management within an optical network. The Alcatel-Lucent solution also includes the 1850 Transport Service Switch (TSS), a new class of multiservice transport platform that supports any mix of traffic, from all-circuit to all packet, with carrier class levels of reliability.

Alongside this, Alcatel-Lucent's network management services from its Global Network Operations Centre (GNOC) in Sydney, Australia, will provide round-the-clock support and service provisioning to Nextgen's Service Management Centre for best-in-class network operations.

The construction of backbone transmission links will provide access points to six priority blackspots for competitive backhaul in regional Australia, and will provide another 102 competitive backbone access points in every mainland State.
  • In July 2009, the Australian government appointed Mike Quigley as the Executive Chairman of the company established to deliver the National Broadband Network (NBNCo). Quigley most recently served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Alcatel-Lucent.

  • Also in 2009, the Rudd Government unveiled plans for a new national broadband network linking every house, school and business in Australia with affordable fast broadband. The plan calls for the government to set-up a new entity that would install fiber connections to ninety percent of Australian homes and businesses over an eight year period. The network will deliver wholesale services of 100 Mbps or better.

Verizon Business Expands UC&C Consulting Services.

Verizon Business is expanding its comprehensive suite of Unified Communications and Collaboration (UC&C) Consulting Services. The new services will provide expert consultants who will learn all about a company's business objectives, assess its current technology, conduct user profiles to uncover opportunities for business-process improvement, and overcome cultural hurdles -- such as employee reluctance to use new communications tools.

The full range of UC&C professional consulting services include:

  • Strategic Consulting -- With an emphasis on management consulting, Verizon Business identifies business objectives and existing processes to create a tailored UC&C approach. By understanding an enterprise's environment, expert consultants can implement plans to unleash the power of UC&C technology and workforce mobility.

  • Financial Analysis -- To help customers quantify the benefits of a UC&C strategy including measuring return on investment and total cost of ownership, Verizon Business experts establish benchmarks and milestones to translate business impact to the bottom line.

  • Operational Integration -- Verizon Business can synchronize all aspects of technology deployment, including design and platform integration, implementation and migration, project management, analysis, and reporting. Verizon Business also provides services that are equally essential: user training and adoption planning to facilitate and measure UC&C success.

Verizon Wireless Chooses Spirent for LTE Device Testing

Verizon Wireless has selected Spirent Communications as a provider of testing solutions for the certification of LTE devices. Spirent solutions include hardware, test simulators, system simulators and software for test automation.

The companies noted that while Spirent is the first company selected by Verizon Wireless for providing approved LTE test equipment, Verizon Wireless expects to announce additional testing solutions.

FCC Initiative Examines New Media

The FCC launched an initiative on the future of media and the information needs of communities in the digital age.

Initial topics under consideration include: the state of TV, radio, newspaper, and Internet news and information services; the effectiveness and nature of public interest obligations in a digital era; the role of public media and private sector foundations; and many others. The initiative will not include any
effort to control the editorial content of any type of media.

"We are at a critical juncture in the evolution of American media," said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. "Rapid technological change in the media marketplace has created opportunities for tremendous innovation. It has also caused financial turmoil for traditional media, calling into question whether these media outlets will continue to play their historic role in providing local communities with essential news and civic information. With this crucial initiative, the FCC commits to fully understanding the fundamental changes underway in the media marketplace and examining what impact such changes may have for Commission policies, while vigorously protecting the First Amendment."

Alcatel-Lucent Debuts Terabit-class Optical Core Transport Switch

Alcatel-Lucent unveiled a terabit-class, optical core switching platform for next-generation Optical Transport Networks (OTN). The Alcatel-Lucent 1870 Transport Tera Switch (TTS) is designed to give operators the flexibility to transport IP traffic, including video, at the most cost-effective layer of the network while increasing profitability by freeing up bandwidth for higher value services.

The Alcatel-Lucent 1870 TTS leverages a proprietary, universal switching chip that offers one terabit (1 Tbps) of capacity. The chip, which was developed in-house, packs more than 20 million gates and is fully non-blocking at any supported rate. The chip delivers an efficiency rating of 0.04 Watts/Gbps.

The Alcatel-Lucent 1870 TTS supports multiple transport networking options, including Carrier Ethernet and SONET/SDH, and offers Generalized Multiprotocol Label Switching/Automatically Switched Optical Network (GMPLS/ASON) control plane intelligence for added-value applications such as advanced restoration, resource virtualization and cross-layer automation. The platform scales as high as four Tbps in its first release and is "hardware ready" to support 8 Tbps. It offers 120 Gbps full duplex per traffic slot and supports any mix of Ethernet/OTN/SONET/SDH/SAN ports. Alcatel-Lucent is initially providing 40G/10G/2.5G/1G and low-rate ports with tunable XFPs. New 100 Gbps interfaces are also planned.

Additionally, the 1870 TTS provides multiple bandwidth management options, including an innovative variable rate "virtual container" technology. Called optical data unit flex (ODUFlex), this technology allows universal traffic grooming between optical transport equipment and IP routers in a manner that efficiently addresses incremental bandwidth growth, in steps as granular as 1 Gbps.

"Network costs are growing proportionally with traffic, but revenue and profit are not. To address this disconnect, operators need to ensure that their IP core can manage ever increasing volumes of traffic at the lowest possible cost," said Romano Valussi, President of Alcatel-Lucent's Optics activities. "At the same time, they need to extract more value from their core network. The new Transport Tera Switch is the most intelligent optical platform on the market today which can create a host of opportunities to deliver new services, while driving down transport costs."

Alcatel-Lucent confirmed that the platform is currently in trials with Tier-1 service providers.

The Alcatel-Lucent 1870 TTS is a key element of the company's recently introduced Converged Backbone Transformation (CBT) solution for next generation IP optical core networks.
http://www.alcatel-lucent.comIn September 2009, Alcatel-Lucent outlined its Converged Backbone Transformation solution aimed at relieving the strain on service providers' core networks by optimizing the routing of IP packets over optical transport.

Alcatel-Lucent said its new Converged Backbone Transformation solution solves this problem by more tightly integrating IP and optical transport resources. This integration reduces the number of required network elements, improves efficiencies in power and rack space, simplifies network provisioning and fault management, and minimizes latency. Alcatel-Lucent accomplishes this by means of an intelligent control plane between the optical and IP layers, leveraging ASON and GMPLS technologies. The goal is to handle traffic at lowest layer via flexible grooming & IP offloading options. This enables IP packets to stay at the photonic layer for as long as possible throughout the transit to their destination, rather than being processed by intermediate core routers. Management Plane Integration across IP & optical domains would enable seamless network visibility and provisioning.

A second goal of the Converged Backbone Transformation is to improve the efficiency of the optical network's resources through better grooming -- or "packing" -- of IP ports into wavelengths. Alcatel-Lucent is offering a range of traffic grooming options, including lambda (or wavelength)-level, port-level and sub-port-level grooming of IP traffic.

Alcatel-Lucent estimates its Converged Backbone Transformation would result in CapEx cost savings of at least 30%, in addition to savings in power, space and operational complexity. The Converged Backbone Transformation solution is a key component of Alcatel-Lucent's High Leverage Network strategy.