Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Metaswitch Appoints Kevin DeNuccio as CEO

Metaswitch Networks named Kevin DeNuccio as its new CEO, succeeding John Lazar who has been promoted to chairman.

DeNuccio previously was CEO of Redback Networks (now Ericsson), where he oversaw the company's transformation into the fastest growing edge router vendor and subsequent acquisition for $2.1 billion. Previously, he was a senior vice president of Cisco, where he grew the worldwide service provider division from a $500 million, 500-person organization to $4 billion and 4,000 employees in the space of four years.

Metaswitch Founder and former Chairman Ian Ferguson remains on the board in his capacity as chairman of the company's Employee Benefit Trust.

CURRENT Group and Verizon Team on Smart Grid Service

Verizon is working with the CURRENT Group, which builds distributed sensing and monitoring systems for electrical utilities, to provide a real-time, IP-based solution for analysis communications between electric companies and sensors deployed on their networks.

The two companies will leverage their core capabilities to deliver a joint smart grid solution. Verizon will provide the underlying wireless and IP network services, managed network and security services, and advanced IT security consulting services to help electric companies identify and mitigate risks to critical cyber assets, including data, applications, IT systems and networks.

CURRENT will provide its intelligent sensors, which monitor distribution grid performance; its OpenGrid utility element management system; and its System Optimization and Reliability analytical software solutions.

Juniper Previews New Core Silicon to Enable 4 Tbps Routers

Juniper Networks announced a new generation of silicon that will enable upgrades to existing T Series Core Routers to a full duplex slot capacity of 250 Gbps without service interruption. The new chipset lays the foundation for a total capacity of 4 Tbps in a single, half-rack system. Juniper's T Series systems are already capable of supporting true line-rate 100 GE interfaces. The new chipset will further enable the scaling of single chassis systems up to 4 Tbps.

Built in 45-nanometer technology, the chipset yields total router throughput surpassing 4 Tbps, far exceeding the performance and scale of off-the-shelf silicon. The chipset includes advanced diagnostic capabilities, auto detection and self-healing, and also incorporates significant power efficiency features to enable more environmentally-conscious data center and service provider networks.

The first trials with products that use the new chipset technology are scheduled for the second half of 2010 and will be available for purchase in early 2011.

Juniper said its unique ability to scale the T Series while in service represents a key component of it's overall commitment to investment protection, continuous systems availability and operational continuity.

The company noted that it has shipped over 5,500 T Series systems shipped worldwide to date.

"The T Series is fundamentally different from any other router on the market because its architecture was designed to deliver leading core capacity and scale," said Stefan Dyckerhoff, senior vice president and general manager, Core Business Unit, Juniper Networks. "The chipset we are introducing today is the next step in our core routing strategy, delivering unparalleled investment protection and enabling our customers to continually scale their networks."
  • In November, 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. 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.

  • In October 2009, Juniper Networks unveiled its "Junos One" family of processors that will be embedded into a broad array of Juniper's future routing, switching and security products. The first product in the set is the "Junos Trio" chipset that features 3D Scaling technology that enables networks to scale dynamically for more bandwidth, subscribers and services while using half as much power per gigabit. Juniper said the new chipset includes more than 30 patent-pending innovations in silicon architecture, packet processing, quality of service and energy efficiency. Built in 65-nanometer technology, Junos Trio includes four chips with a total of 1.5 billion transistors and 320 simultaneous processes, yielding total router throughput up to 2.6 terabits per second and up to 2.3 million subscribers per rack. Junos Trio includes advanced forwarding, queuing, scheduling, synchronization and end-to-end resiliency features, helping customers provide service-level guarantees for voice, video, and data delivery.

  • In June 2009, Juniper Networks announced a 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100 GE) router interface card for its T1600 Core Router. The 100 GE card, which was first demonstrated at Interop Tokyo, leverages technology originally developed to enable the 100-Gbps slots on the T1600 router. The network interface card will comply with the forthcoming 802.3ba specification (ratification is expected in 2010).

Bell Canada's Q4 Revenue Grew 4.8%, FTTH Planned for Montreal, Toronto

BCE (Bell Canada's) operating revenues increased by 4.8% during Q4 2009 to $3,982 million, as higher revenues from the acquisitions of The Source and the remaining 50% of the equity of Virgin Mobile Canada (Virgin) not already owned by Bell and growth in TV and wireless data revenues more than offset declines in local and access, long distance, and wireline data revenues. For the full year, Bell's operating revenues were $15,020 million, an increase of 1.0% compared to 2008.

Bell's operating income increased by 10.0% to $572 million this quarter and by 13.5% to $2,432 million for the full year due to higher EBITDA and lower restructuring and other costs. Bell's EBITDA grew by 1.0% to $1,395 million this quarter and by 1.4% to $5,719 million for the full year as higher revenues and cost reductions more than offset the impact of higher pension expense and increases in new wireless subscriber activation expense. Bell's EBITDA margin decreased by 1.4 percentage points to 35.0% this quarter but increased 0.2 percentage points to 38.1% on a full-year basis. Before pension costs, Bell's EBITDA growth was 3.5% this quarter and 3.0% for the full year.

"The Bell team's strong execution of our service-focused strategy and ongoing cost discipline across our business delivered strong Q4 results and enabled us to meet or beat all of our increased financial targets for 2009," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada.

Bell also announced plans to deploy Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) in Quebec City and new housing developments in Ontario and Quebec, the launch of its enhanced Bell Fibe Internet service this week, and the introduction of IPTV later in 2010. Bell will begin its three-year plan to deploy high speed Fibre-to-the-home across the Quebec City region in 2010 using aerial" infrastructure - above-ground wiring on utility poles.

Bell also announced today it will deploy FTTH in all new urban and suburban housing developments in Ontario and Quebec beginning in the second half of 2010. This is in addition to the company's deployment of Fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) to MDUs (multi-dwelling units) already under way. Bell's FTTB initiative will deliver 60 Mbps service to approximately 1,600 condominiums and apartment buildings in Ontario and Quebec by the end of 2012.

Bell will complete its accelerated build of Fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) in Toronto and Montreal this quarter. The company will have passed 1.8 million homes with advanced VDSL2 capability by the end of the quarter, and 100% of the company's FTTN network will be VDSL2 capable by the end of 2010. Bell Fibe is a new high-speed Internet service announced this week for Bell customers in Montreal and Toronto that takes full advantage of these fibre advancements, offering enhanced download speeds of up to 25 Mbps and the fastest upload speeds available in the market - up to 7 Mbps.

Some other highlights:

  • The Bell Wireless segment had record Q4 gross activations of 523,000 new subscribers, or 11.3% more than the same period last year, even though its new HSPA network was only launched in November.

  • Total net activations increased by 39.3% to 163,000. Postpaid net activations increased by 37.5% to 110,000 and prepaid net activations increased by 43.2% to 53,000.

  • Bell Wireless operating revenues increased by 5.7% this quarter with service revenues increasing by 2.1% and product revenues increasing by 43.3%. Bell Wireless operating income and EBITDA decreased by 0.7% and 2.0% respectively.

  • Blended ARPU decreased by $1.48 to $51.08 year-over-year due to the impact of economic pressures on customer usage, competitive moves and lower roaming revenues, which more than offset data revenue growth of 32%.

  • In the Bell Wireline segment, retail residential NAS losses improved for a ninth consecutive quarter but total Residential NAS declined by 79,000 this quarter, or by 11.3% more than last year, due to reduced demand for wholesale local service.

  • Business NAS declined by 29,000 this quarter, or 3.3% fewer than last year. TV subscribers increased by 41,000 and high-speed Internet subscribers increased by 8,000 this quarter.

  • Bell Wireline operating revenues increased by 4.2% as TV and equipment and other revenue growth more than offset declines in local and access, long distance and data revenues.

  • Equipment and other revenues more than doubled this quarter as a result of the acquisition of The Source. Bell Wireline operating income increased by 23.9% as a result of higher EBITDA and lower restructuring and other costs.

  • With the completion of the HSPA network build, the amount of capital Bell invested this quarter decreased to $640 million, or by 25.1%, compared to the same period last year.

  • Capital expenditures supported Bell's strategic imperatives with focused investment on enhancing its wireless networks and the continuing expansion of the wireline broadband network, including the FTTN and FTTB programs.

  • At year end, the FTTN network reached more than 2.9 million homes.

  • For the full year, Bell invested $2,390 million of capital, or 2.8% less than 2008 and Bell's capital intensity was 15.9%.

AT&T Supports SlingPlayer's Mobile App on 3G

AT&T will support Sling Media's SlingPlayer Mobile app over its 3G network.

Since mid December 2009, AT&T has been testing the app and has recently notified Sling Media -- as well as Apple - that the optimized app can run on its 3G network. The SlingPlayer Mobile app already is available for use today on AT&T's Wi-Fi network, the nation's largest with more than 20,000 hotspots.

Sling Media is a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar.

IBM to host Sierra Wireless Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Services

IBM will provide data center collocation facilities and services to Sierra Wireless to host a new services platform dedicated to its software as a service Machine-to-Machine offering.

Sierra Wireless selected IBM and Rackforce to host the offering at the recently built GigaCenter in Kelowna, British Columbia.

In 2008, Sierra Wireless deployed its first platform in France to service the European market. Now it is expanding to support its growth in North America and guarantee stable, secure and worldwide service coverage to its Machine-to-Machine customer base.

JDSU Adds 10 GigE Dual Test Features to T-BERD

JDSU introduced the Dual Module Carrier (DMC) for the T-BERD/MTS-8000 platform. This enables concurrent capture/decode and TCP WireSpeed testing on two 10 GigE ports. the T-BERD/MTS-8000 platform now encompasses 10M to 10 GigE, DS1/E1 to OC-192/STM-64, OTN, PDH, Next Generation SONET/SDH and Fibre Channel testing.

In the typical CO and Tier 2/3 troubleshooting environment, two testers have traditionally been needed to troubleshoot both ends of a local circuit to determine that the network segment is properly passing traffic. Now, using a single T-BERD/MTS-8000 DMC, technicians can determine and troubleshoot traffic problems from both directions using a single test solution, translating to significant time and cost savings.

AT&T Issues "Open Call -- Apps For All!" Contest

AT&T has launched its the fifth annual "Open Call - Apps For All!" contest to be held at the CTIA Wireless convention in Las Vegas March 23-24.

The contest is divided into four categories: Brew Mobile Platform (BMP), Android, Java & RIM, and an "Open" category reviewing applications and content of all platforms. AT&T will award a total of $40,000 in cash prizes, $10,000 to a winner in each of the four categories.

The Open Call contest is open to any developer who wishes to present new and exciting applications that may ultimately find their way into the handsets of AT&T's wireless customers. The deadline for submissions is midnight Pacific Time on March 1, 2010.

Microsoft and the NSF Offer Cloud Capacity

Microsoft and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will provide free access to advanced cloud computing resources to qualified researchers and research groups selected through NSF's merit review process. Microsoft will provide cloud computing research projects identified by NSF with access to Windows Azure for a three-year period, along with a support team to help researchers quickly integrate cloud technology into their research. Projects will be awarded and managed by NSF.

Windows Azure provides on-demand compute and storage to host, scale and manage Web applications on the Internet through Microsoft datacenters.

U.S. House Passes Cybersecurity Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act by a vote of 422 to 5.

H.R. 4061 reauthorizes several National Science Foundation (NSF) programs that aim to enhance cybersecurity. The bill would require agencies participating in the Networking and Information Technology Research and Development program (NITRD) to develop, update, and implement a plan to guide the direction of federal cybersecurity and information assurance research and development. The bill also reauthorizes cybersecurity workforce and traineeship programs at the NSF including the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship program and the Graduate Research Fellowship program.

The bill requires the President to conduct an assessment of cybersecurity workforce needs across the federal government and authorizes NSF to carry out the Scholarship for Service program (which has never been authorized but has been funded previously). The bill reauthorizes cybersecurity research at NSF and also reauthorizes the Trustworthy Computing program.

IBM's New Data Center in N.C. Uses 50% Less Energy

IBM opened a new data center in North Carolina designed to support cloud computing. IBM calculates the new data center uses only half the energy required of a similar facility its size. The data center will ultimately total 100,000 square feet at IBM's Research Triangle Park (RTP) campus and is part of a $362 million investment by the corporation to build the new data center in North Carolina. IBM owns or operates more than 450 data centers worldwide.

In constructing the new data center, IBM renovated an existing building on its Research Triangle Park campus by reusing 95 percent of the original building's shell, recycling 90 percent of the materials from the original building and ensuring that 20 percent of newly purchased material came from recycled products.

Alcatel-Lucent's Software Defined Radios for 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE

Alcatel-Lucent introduced a new radio module, based on software defined radio (SDR) technology, that gives mobile service providers the flexibility to support any mix of 2G GSM, 3G W-CDMA/HSPA+ and LTE services simultaneously. The converged radio module, called the MC-TRX, can be used to upgrade the 700,000 Alcatel-Lucent base stations already deployed by service providers worldwide.

The new module, which is a key building block of Alcatel-Lucent's Converged RAN (radio access network) portfolio, has already been demonstrated to major European and Asian operators. It has the same form factor as the previous generations of TRX modules. In addition to its radio flexibility, the module offers very high GSM capacity, supporting up to 2.5x the number of transceiver capacity per cabinet. It can be configured to maximize network coverage thus reducing the number of sites. It integrates advanced radio capabilities such as MIMO (multiple input/multiple output) to ensure the best performance when used in a W-CDMA/HSPA+ or LTE configuration. It provides bandwidth flexibility up to 20MHz for easy deployments and maximum capacity for LTE introduction.

Significantly, the new converged radio module gives mobile operators the ability to "re-farm" their 900 or 1800 MHz spectrum -- currently used to provide 2G GSM services -- by introducing more advanced W-CDMA/HSPA+ or LTE services through simple software activation. This process can be managed dynamically -- if the majority of wireless subscribers on the network are using GSM, the module will be configured in GSM mode. As more subscribers move toward W-CDMA or LTE the module can shift the relative mix of technology to allocate more power and carriers to W-CDMA or LTE. The upgrades can be performed remotely on base stations equipped with the new module.

"The new converged radio module lets customers evolve networks at their own pace while optimizing use of available spectrum -- by introducing more efficient technologies -- minimizing the total cost of ownership. Just as importantly, it enables operators to prepare for the kind of bandwidth demands generated by the growth of multimedia services, supported on a variety of all-IP networks," said Wim Sweldens, president of Alcatel-Lucent's Wireless Networks Product activities.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Comcast Grows 3.9% in 2009, Targets Project xfinity for 2010

Comcast's Q4 2009 revenue increased 2.9% to $9.1 billion and operating cash flow increased 1.1% to $3.4 billion, reflecting continued growth in its Cable division, partially offset by higher expenses in Programming and Corporate costs. Fourth quarter 2009 Operating Income increased 3.4% to $1.8 billion.

Revenue increased 3.9% in 2009 to $35.8 billion, while Operating Cash Flow increased 4.4% to $13.7 billion and Operating Income increased 7.2% to $7.2 billion.

"In 2009, we continued to invest in our products and services and in growth opportunities like Comcast Business Services. We also made real progress deploying All-Digital and Wideband, and launched innovative products like Comcast High-Speed 2go, our 4G wireless broadband service, and On Demand Online. We believe these initiatives and our focus on delivering the best consumer experience further improves our competitive position now and in the future," stated Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast.

Some highlights:

  • As of December 31, 2009, Comcast's video, high-speed Internet and voice customers totaled 47.1 million, reflecting 1.5 million net additions during 2009.

  • The company expects CAPEX in 2010 to be less than 2009 both in dollars and as a percentage of revenue.

  • Goals for 2010 include to complete the all-digital transition, complete the wideband DOCSIS 3.0 upgrade and launch Project Xfinity.

  • As of the end of 2009, the all-digital migration was about 35% complete. This will recapture about 50 analog channels.

  • Project xfinity will offer 100+ HD channels, 50-70 foreign language channels, 20,000 VOD choices, 19,000 On-Demand online programs, 100 Mbps Internet speeds and new convergence features.

3Crowd Offers Crowd Sourced Load Balancing Among Competing CDNs

3Crowd Technologies, a start-up based in San Mateo, California announced a crowd-sourcing method of leveraging multiple content delivery networks (CDNs).

For content owners with high customer service goals, 3Crowd offers a turnkey multi-cloud service strategy. Its two new services, CrowdMonitor and CrowdDirector, effectively convert multiple CDNs into a single cloud-service that can be monitored, managed and deployed as a single service.

CrowdMonitor lets content providers actively monitor and react to cloud service performance and reliability data. Passive monitors are placed throughout a network and at the end user's location. CrowdMonitor collects continuous streams of logs and analyzes information related to traffic path, speed, downtime, whether or not content is cached, latency times, etc.

CrowdDirector effectively acts as a virtual load balancer on a network, enabling enterprises and content owners to manage their services across multiple CDNs, cloud services, and web servers, using a set of simple and articulate rules. These rules, which include feedback from the ‘crowd' or the performance from the actual content delivery, are built from a multitude of parameters such as time, location, networks (ASNs), content types, CDN performance, traffic capacities, pricing and more.

3Crowd is the latest startup founded by serial entrepreneur Barrett Lyon, creator of the Opte Project, an Internet mapping project, founder of Prolexic Technologies and co-founder of BitGravity.

Nokia Reports Fast Adoption of New Ovi Maps With Free Navigation

Since launching its new version of Ovi Maps with free walk and drive navigation on January 21, Nokia has delivered over 1.4 million downloads. The one million mark was reached just one week after the launch.

The new Ovi Maps is a key part of Nokia's strategy to lead the market in mobile maps, navigation and location-based services. By leveraging its investment in NAVTEQ, the company hopes to quickly activate a massive user base to which it can offer new location features, content and services.

"We're averaging a download a second, 24 hours a day," said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia. "When we announced free walk & drive navigation we knew it would be a game-changer. The number of people now using their Nokia for navigation, and as a result looking for more location-aware software, is growing faster than even we predicted."

As of 31 January 2010 the top five countries downloading the new version of Ovi Maps were: China, Italy, UK, Germany and Spain. The top five most popular Nokia devices installing the download were: Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia N97, Nokia 5230 and Nokia E72.

Lockheed Martin Awarded $31 Million for National Cyber Range

Lockheed Martin was awarded a $30.8 million contract for Phase II of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) National Cyber Range (NCR) program.

DARPA's NCR is part of the Comprehensive National Cybersecurity Initiative, a major government-wide effort to increase the nation's defenses against electronic attack. In Phase I, DARPA and its industry team created initial conceptual designs, concepts of operation, and detailed engineering and system demonstration plans. In Phase II, DARPA will work with Lockheed Martin and the Johns Hopkins University - Applied Physics Laboratory to build and evaluate prototype ranges and their corresponding technology. The NCR will support large-scale cyber testing, providing fully automated range management and test management suites to assess and validate leap-ahead cyber research technologies and systems, and to help DARPA identify new research directions.
  • In November 2009, Lockheed Martin IS&GS opened a NexGen Cyber Innovation and Technology Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland designed to preserve and protect Lockheed Martin customer missions and address the greater cyber security challenges worldwide. The unique 25,000 square foot center leverages existing Lockheed Martin and partner capabilities in cyber security. It features seven collaboration areas, reconfigurable spaces, global cyber range, cloud computing platforms, green IT datacenter, telepresence and high definition video teleconferencing and global site connectivity.

Roamware Eliminates Roaming Voicemail Charges for European Operators

A new EU regulation that comes into effect on July 1, 2010 will prohibit operators from charging roaming customers for redirecting calls into voicemail while on a visiting network. The EU regulation aims to ensure that subscribers are not charged an additional fee for receiving voicemail messages while abroad. Subscribers are frequently charged for two international call legs for receiving voicemail in a different country as the call is first directed from the home network to the visited location and then back to home network where the voicemail is located.

Roamware estimates that European operators will collectively incur an annual cost of between euro 130m and euro 150m for re-bounding international voicemail calls, known in the telecoms industry as 'tromboning'.

To reduce the costs of tromboning, Roamware has introduced its patented solution, Voicemail Call Completion (VMCC), and is working with European mobile operators on its deployment. The company said that 40 mobile operators have implemented its solution so far.
"The EU's fundamental issue was that roamers could not exercise discretion in accepting voicemail messages, unlike a phone call which they can refuse to answer. Using Roamware's enhanced Voicemail Call Completion service in the home network, the Roamware software recognizes when the customer is not available to answer a call and deposits it into voicemail without the call ever leaving the home country and incurring roaming charges," said John Jiang, CTO and EVP - Product Management at Roamware.

Roamware is headquartered in San Jose with operations in Brussels, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi Singapore, Dublin, Johannesburg, Amman and Hong Kong.

Swisscom Monitors IMS Network with RADCOM's Omni-Q

Swisscom is using RADCOM's Omni-Q service assurance solution for monitoring its new IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) production network. RADCOM's gear has previously been used in Swisscom's IMS laboratory testing. In in the first phases of commercial IMS services, Swisscom has found a need for pro-active Tier 2 and 3 engineering troubleshooting. The IMS network consists of an Ericsson core and Broadsoft application servers. RADCOM's advanced QExpert business intelligence workflow reporting provides efficient and pro-active engineering and support. It monitors SS7, IMS and mobile services.

Gigamon Secures $22.8 Million for it Data Access Switch

Gigamon has raised $22.8 million from Highland Capital Partners in its first institutional financing to support its data access switching product line.

The Gigamon platform provides data access span ports for monitoring complex and remote networks. The switch aggregates, filters and replicates customized data streams to all monitoring tools.

The company said it has achieved greater than 55 percent year-over-year growth rate for each of the past four years.

MTS Allstream Selects Aviat to Support HSPA Rollout

Canada's MTS Allstream has selected Aviat Networks (formerly Harris Stratex Networks) for its HSPA rollout. Under the agreement, MTS Allstream will use Aviat Networks' Eclipse Packet Node HP300 solution to aid its migration to an all-IP architecture and launch its HSPA network in Manitoba.

MTS Allstream will also deploy Aviat's ProVision Element Management System (NMS), which delivers advanced features for monitoring and controlling TDM and Ethernet transport, such as end-to-end circuit provisioning, Ethernet utilization reporting and RMON performance monitoring. For more information on the ProVision system, please
MTS Allstream is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manitoba Telecom Services and currently serves nearly two million total customer connections spanning business customers across Canada and residential consumers throughout the province of Manitoba.