Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sprint to Install Juniper SRX Gateways to Secure Mobile Data

Sprint will purchase Juniper Networks' SRX Series Services Gateways to securely deliver mobile data services. The SRX5800 Services Gateways, equipped with multiple 1 Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet connections, will be deployed in core and distribution data centers throughout the United States. The SRX Series will also enable Sprint to employ additional network and security capabilities. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Juniper's SRX Series offers firewall, intrusion prevention system (IPS), denial of service (DoS), Network Address Translation (NAT), and quality of service (QoS) capabilities.

Ericsson's Microwave Backhaul Tops 2.5Gbps

Ericsson announced a new speed record for high-speed microwave backhaul -- 2.5Gbps. The 2.5Gbps connection uses the new 70-80GHz frequency band (E-band) to transport high levels of data on the air. Ericsson will release its first product in the 70-80GHz frequency band supporting 1Gbps during 2010.

Ericsson estimates that more than 60 percent of radio base stations are backhauled using microwave.

Georges Antoun, head of IP and Broadband at Ericsson, says: "Microwave has been a key component when it comes to fast and cost-effective rollouts of mobile networks, and will continue to be just that when the capacities take off in the networks. We have now delivered more than 2 million MINI-LINKs around the globe and we see that microwave will remain as the solution for mobile backhaul as it provides the lowest total cost of ownership."

Marvell Targets the $99 Smartphone

Marvell introduced its Pantheon new platform for smartphone manufacturers. The company is aiming to significantly lower the bill of materials for mobile devices to the $99 threshold.

Orange Rolls Out SMS and MMS Advertising

Orange will begin rolling out interactive SMS and MMS advertising across its European footprint in 2010.

The carrier will make all its interactive mobile advertising strictly "opt-in" for customer. The user will be offered localized, relevant rewards to partcipate, such as exclusive content, film and games reviews, celebrity gossip, free texts, prizes and other benefits like up-to-date sports information. The rollout is already underway in the UK. It will now be extended to other markets.

"Orange is at the forefront of giving advertisers exactly what they need - direct, targeted dialogue with customers. Supported by our global ad-sales network and combined with our unique multi-screen reach, our new mobile ad-models go beyond display advertising to create more value for advertisers, create a richer experience for customers and maximise the use of our networks with clever innovation," stated Paul Francois Fournier, Executive vice president in charge of audience and advertising.

Bouygues Telecom Picks ip.access of 2G Picocells

Bouygues Telecom has selected the ip.access to provide 2G picocells for its enterprise customers across France. The deployments will use the on-premises ip.access nanoGSM system.

Orange Commits to Mobile HD Voice in Europe This Year

Orange will accelerate its roll-out of mobile HD voice services in Europe. The carrier announced a commitment to deploy mobile HD voice in France, Spain and Luxembourg in 2010. It's first mobile HD voice market -- Moldova -- is already live and Orange has previously disclosed plans to implement the technology in the UK and Belgium in this year. A UK customer trial of mobile HD voice is expected to start from Spring and run for three months.

HD Voice uses the AMR-WB (Adaptive Multi-Rate Wideband) speech codec. Orange said this codec, this provides excellent audio quality due to a wider speech bandwidth of 50-7000 Hz compared to the current narrowband speech codec of 300-3400 Hz.

"As far as Orange is concerned, voice is not just a commodity. With mobile HD voice, we are delivering true customer innovation - one that will genuinely enrich and transform our customers' lives. By being the first to innovate and deliver a new mobile voice experience, we provide a compelling and differentiated proposition which sets Orange apart. High-definition voice is the future standard for mobile communication," stated Olaf Swantee, senior executive vice president for Orange's global mobile business.

Orange plans to rapidly extend the range of HD voice-compatible mobile handsets across Europe. Pricing and handsets will be announced at the time of launch locally.
  • In September 2009, Orange became the world's first operator to commercially launch a mobile HD voice service in Moldova, announcing plans to bring mobile HD voice to the UK and Belgium in 2010. In addition to mobile HD voice, Orange was also the first operator to launch HD over VOIP, first in France and shortly to be rolled out to Poland and Spain.

Singapore's M1 Completes 100 Mbps Data Call on LTE

Singapore's MobileOne (M1) completed a 100 Mbps data call on its Long Term Evolution (LTE) trial network. The first call was placed from the operator's flagship store, where the operator is trialing and showcasing applications over LTE together with its partner Nokia Siemens Networks. The demonstrations feature high-speed file sharing as well as HDTV over LTE.
  • In January, Nokia Siemens Networks announced a contract to upgrade M1's 2G network.

Continuous Packet Connectivity (CPC) Promises Greater Energy Efficiency

Nokia Siemens Networks has completed the world's first call using "continuous packet connectivity" (CPC), a technology that once incorporated into an operator's HSPA+ radio access network could yield significantly longer battery life for smartphones. The CPC data call was made using network equipment from Nokia Siemens Networks and a device supplied by Qualcomm using the QSC6295 chipset.

Nokia Siemens Networks calculates that CPC can mean up to 100 percent longer battery life when devices are used for data applications, and up to 50 percent during voice calls. The company explains that during extended HSPA data sessions, there are typically long periods of idle time between transmissions of data packets, during which a device continues to use its battery. The CPC feature of 3GPP Release 7 uses the"discontinuous transmission and reception" method to shut down the device's transmitter and receiver during the idle phases to reduce power consumption. It has no effect on the actual data rates experienced by the end-user.

"With CPC, subscribers will enjoy an improved mobile data experience, while operators will benefit from enhanced network capacity -- even with heavy smartphone use -- due to less interference in the radio connection, not to mention higher revenues due to increased usage of the service," said Tommi Uitto, head of Network Systems product management at Nokia Siemens Networks.

"At Qualcomm, we are committed to driving the evolution of technology features that provide the maximum benefit to end-users," said Alex Katouzian, vice president of product management for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies."The CPC feature further enhances the HSPA+ mobile broadband experience for end-users by allowing them to enjoy these services without worrying about device battery life."

Nokia Siemens Networks noted that its Flexi Base Station and radio network controller can support the CPC feature with a simple software upgrade. The company is the leader in driving Evolved HSPA, also known as HSPA+. In May 2009, Nokia Siemens Networks and Elisa Finland made the world's first circuit-switched call over HSPA, which allows operators to simplify and cost-effectively increase voice capacity of their 3G networks.

NSN Pushes HSPA+ to 112 Mbps

Nokia Siemens Networks is demonstrating an HSPA+ data call with a peak throughput of 112 Mbps. The demonstration at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona uses four Flexi Multiradio Base Station radio transceivers, or "carriers", simultaneously for one data connection. The terminals are supplied by Qualcomm. A commercial version is expected by 2011.

Nokia Siemens Networks said multi-carrier technology enables better speeds, better use of base station resources, and higher spectrum efficiency. The four-carrier technology will be standardized in 3GPP Release 10. A base station feature that uses two carriers per data connection will be available from Nokia Siemens Networks already in the first half of this year.

Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Base Stations and radio network controller (RNC) can support four-carrier HSPA with a simple software upgrade. An HSPA+ network can theoretically support speeds of 28 Mbps or 42 Mbps with a single 5 MHz carrier.

Juniper Offers SSL VPNs for Secure Smartphones

Juniper Networks introduced a security system that enables service providers to embed security throughout their infrastructure -- across mobile devices, applications and networks. Specifically, Juniper Mobile Secure leverages the company's SRX Series Services Gateways and Junos Pulse software to protect mobile data traffic.

Junos Pulse is a downloadable client software that uses SSL VPN technology to provide secure connections across smartphones, notebooks and netbooks to a broad range of corporate applications. The technology is both location-aware and identity-aware. Juniper plans to release Junos Pulse in Q2 2010 for popular mobile devices.

Juniper will also offer customers optional protection against malware from Internet security leader Webroot. Juniper will seamlessly integrate Webroot's detection engine into Junos Pulse for Windows to enable customers to restrict access to corporate data and applications when security threats are detected, and to automatically eradicate threats so that employees can stay connected and productive.

Junos Pulse works closely with the SRX Series Services Gateways to secure the carrier network at multiple points from malicious internet traffic, rogue devices and other carrier networks.

Juniper is also delivering large-scale role-based application policy enforcement with 'follow-me' user access policies. This combined solution allows companies to enable security services such as AppSecure and IPS at all locations which enhances mobile security at the network and application level -- detecting and stopping application misuse and sophisticated attacks before damage occurs to protect mobile data users and effectively preventing security breaches before they happen.

Juniper Mobile Secure also takes advantage of the Junos Space network application platform to manage security policies across mobile devices, applications and networks. Junos Space provides integrated threat and device management through a single central interface that ensures security correlation and manageability. Together, Junos Space and Junos Pulse extend intelligence across the network and to endpoint devices -- enabling fully programmable networks that can deliver a superior mix of experience and economics.

Juniper's Project Falcon Optimizes 4G/LTE Edge

Juniper Networks unveiled key elements of its "Project Falcon" initiative to transform the edge of 4G/LTE networks by supporting more bandwidth, more services and more subscribers than ever before. Project Falcon leverages the Junos software platform and Juniper's MX 3D Series Universal Edge Routers, which are powered by a new generation of proprietary silicon with more than 1.5 billion transistors.

At Mobile World Congress, Juniper announced three elements of Project Falcon:

  • Juniper Traffic Direct, which relieves bandwidth stress on current 2G/3G networks by offloading bulk data traffic directly to the Internet. This is done combining intelligent subscriber and application policies with MX 3D Series routing. Expected to be available in Q2 2010, Traffic Direct will help providers reduce network congestion, minimize impact on their mobile infrastructure, and lower their total cost of ownership.

  • Juniper Media Flow, a caching solution developed by Ankeena Networks that optimizes mobile and fixed networks for fast, efficient video and rich media delivery. Media Flow software enables smooth adaptive bit streaming at the service edge of the networks. Expected to be available in Q2 2010, Media Flow will include a Juniper VXA Series content delivery engine and Ankeena software to provide video and content delivery up to 10Gbps per engine.

  • Juniper Mobile Core Evolution
  • , an open and secure mobile packet core based on MX 3D Series routers and Junos software. Juniper said its packet core implementation will offer uncompromised scaling across bandwidth, subscribers and services, while enabling new capabilities via a Junos SDK. Juniper also promises strong built-in security features to protect subscribers from the vulnerabilities present in wireline IP networks. Juniper expects to begin trialing this solution for selected customer in Q4 2010.

    "Mobile operators face a difficult challenge as they try to improve the mobile experience and deliver new services, while simultaneously reducing service delivery costs," said Stefan Dyckerhoff, executive VP and general manager of Juniper's Infrastructure Products Group. "With today's news, Juniper is fueling the mobile broadband evolution with groundbreaking technology and an open ecosystem that paves the way for cost-effective migration to 4G technologies. No one else can offer immediate TCO relief for mobile operators, while delivering unmatched 3D scale, built-in security, and open platforms to monetize new services."
    • In October 2009, Juniper Networks unveiled its "Junos One" family of processors that will be embedded into 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. 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 also incorporates significant power efficiency features to enable more environmentally conscious data center and service provider networks.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Blueprint: Femtocells and LTE Symbiosis

by Sanket S. Nesargi, Senior Marketing Manager

Both LTE and Femtocells have received much attention in the industry press. While LTE has been accepted as the undisputed future of macro wireless networks, Femtocells have been seen as the technology that will help service providers address critical issues such as coverage and capacity. Moreover, while both technologies have received support and commitments from major service providers, the question of commercial uptake and return-on-investment still looms large in the minds of many service providers. This article will elaborate upon why LTE femtocells  make great business sense, and how a symbiotic relationship between these two technologies can drive market adoption and enable next generation wireless services.

LTE promises to revolutionize the mobile broadband landscape with data throughput in the range of 86 Mbps to 172 Mbps. This guarantee is enabled by a completely re-worked air-interface and a "flattening" of core network infrastructure to reduce latency and minimize transport technologies across the network. What this also means for service providers is that LTE is a big ticket both in terms of CAPEX, due to the rip-and-replace nature of its installation, and also in terms of OPEX due to the deployment and interoperability concerns that need to be accounted for. Thus, operators need to carefully plan their LTE deployment strategy based on geographic demand characteristics and uptake potential.

Femtocells have been envisioned as the one solution that can help service providers address their capacity and coverage issues. Buoyed by the increasing amounts of mobile data and voice traffic, ABI Research expects that by the end of 2014, there will be 39.97 million femtocells  deployed worldwide, serving 132 million subscribers . The benefits of femtocells  -- in terms of plugging coverage holes, as well as offloading capacity from the already strained mobile operator networks are well known -- these benefits take on a different dimension when considered in conjunction with LTE.

As operators determine the best deployment model to roll out LTE, it has been envisioned that femtocells  offer an ideal solution by which, rather than spending enormous CAPEX on deploying a LTE macro network, operators can use LTE femtocells  for localized deployments and test waters in terms of performance, service uptake, interoperability, and so on. Macro networks can be subsequently migrated to LTE based on the lessons learned from the initial Femtocell-based deployments. ABI Research senior analyst Nadine Manjaro writes:

"Some vendors are looking to deploy LTE in hot spot-like deployments, where the demand is highest first. So it makes sense that they would cover a building with a picocell and femtocells  for the smaller buildings or personal usage."

The case for femtocells  in the LTE environment is further bolstered by two other factors:
1. LTE Deployment Frequency: Initial LTE deployments are expected to occur in high frequency bands such in the 2.6 Ghz range. At this frequency, in-door coverage from macro networks is relatively poor, and femtocells  offer the natural solution to enable users achieve the performance that is needed to ensure a positive LTE experience.
2. Capacity Bottlenecks: To support LTE, operators need to deploy high capacity backhaul which is optimized for the data rates and latency characteristics demanded by LTE applications/services. Utilizing femtocells -based initial rollouts offers them an opportunity to defer the CAPEX and OPEX by offloading backhaul data traffic to the broadband service used by the subscriber.
At the same, as indicated recently an article on deployment experiences with 2G and 3G femtocells  published in IEEE Communications , there are quite a dependencies the existing macro network infrastructure that need to be addressed to ensure high quality Femtocell coverage. These include radio network optimization, provisioning of additional mobile identifiers, provisioning for interactions with packet and circuit core network elements, billing, network management systems, etc. Operators, thus, need to carefully plan their Femtocell roll-outs to ensure seamless operation with their existing networks.
LTE, on the other hand, offers operators a clean slate to start with. Choosing to deploy femtocells  in conjunction with LTE at the very outset can help operators alleviate most of the above listed issues as all of LTE network elements would be greenfield deployments. Additionally, LTE defines self-optimization and healing functionality, which can minimize a lot of concerns related to radio network optimization such as co-channel and adjacent channel interference, need to use isolated channels for Femtocell communications, ping-pong effects between macro and femto networks, etc. Further, the enhanced capabilities of LTE can enable new Femtozone services including set top box integration for quad-play applications, terminal adaptor functionality for fixed line VoIP telephony, minute and data sharing plans, etc. These enhanced services offer operators opportunities to increase revenue from new customers and an improved Quality of Experience (QoE).

Despite the benefits and natural advantages of LTE femtocells , developing and deploying these is not trivial. One of the bigger concerns with LTE femtocells  is the presence capacity bottlenecks on the backhaul between the Femto Access Point (FAP) and the Femto Gateway (FGW). As this pipe may potentially be leased from other broadband service providers with no Service Level Agreements, performance of LTE services could get negatively impacted. Thus, widespread deployment of LTE femtocells  could drive some evolution in business models, peering relationships and SLAs between wireless and fixed network service providers. Other issues with LTE femtocells  include the availability of high performance and interoperable self-optimizing and self-healing functionality, limited field experience with both LTE and Femtocell technologies, limited availability of trial ready equipment, etc. Thus, even though substantial challenges exist on the road of LTE femtocells , they are by no means insurmountable.

Both LTE and Femtocells are technologies waiting for their day in the sun. While both hold tremendous promise, standalone deployments can actually limit or potentially delay their commercial acceptance. The highly complementary nature of these technologies and the advantages offered by a symbiotic relationship between two could be the potential "killer combination" which provides the apparently elusive business case that operators have been looking for, and ensure the success of these technologies.
About the Author
Sanket S. Nesargi is Senior Marketing Manager at Aricent.

Dr Sanket Nesargi is the Senior Marketing Manager at Aricent for the OEM segment. Sanket has 12 plus years of experience in the telecom industry and has worked with Aricent since May 2009. Prior to Aricent, Sanket has held positions in multiple domains including Strategy Consulting at KPMG, Product Marketing and Management at Tektronix, and Product Management and System Architect at Nortel. Sanket holds Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Dallas, and an MBA from the McCombs Business School at the University of Texas at Austin.
About Aricent
Aricent is a global innovation, technology and services company focused exclusively on communications. Aricent combines the leading innovation capabilities of frog design with unparalleled domain expertise in communications as a strategic supplier to the world's foremost infrastructure, application and service providers. The company's investors include Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., Sequoia Capital, The Family Office and The Canadian Pension Plan Investment Board.For more information, visit

MEF Ratifies External Network to Network Interface (ENNI) Spec

The MEF (Metro Ethernet Forum) ratified of first phase of an External Network to Network Interface (ENNI) specification, which standardizes the reference point between service providers' MEF Certified Carrier Ethernet networks and services.

The new specification (MEF 26)is expected to accelerate the tedious process of matching different providers' Carrier Ethernet services. By supporting standardized interconnect and Ethernet services spanning multiple-operator Ethernet networks, and bringing issues such as CoS, SLAs and management into line, the ENNI is expected to open new business opportunities for service providers and vendors.

MEF 26 ratification covers connection for both E-Line (point to point) and E-LAN (multipoint to multipoint) services ensuring that when two or more services certified to MEF specifications are connected, then the resulting link will also meet MEF specifications. End-to-end Class of Service levels and Operations Administration and Maintenance (OAM) will be maintained, and the protection of the ENNI is built into this standard.

Wholesale service providers could use MEF 26 to upgrade their basic Ethernet connectivity services to fully featured Carrier Ethernet networks interconnecting with multiple service providers. In the market for mobile backhaul connectivity, MEF 26 makes it possible for local providers to interconnect their networks to provide a solution and reach into a growing market.

The Metro Ethernet Forum said another significant development is ENNI's potential to facilitate deployment in the emerging Carrier Ethernet Exchange market. Recently launched Ethernet Exchanges offer a multi-lateral complement to the bilateral one-to-one connections between service providers. Instead of having to establish and maintain their own network and service connections, service providers benefit from scalability and greater flexibility of a managed exchange without the escalating cost and complexity of managing multiple links to multiple provider partners.
  • In November 2009, CENX (Carrier Ethernet Neutral eXchange), a start-up headed by MEF President Nan Chen, opened three Carrier Ethernet Exchanges in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. The carrier neutral, co-location/data-center neutral CENX Carrier Ethernet Exchanges aim to streamline the problem of interconnecting various Carrier Ethernet services.

Alcatel-Lucent Forecasts Modest Industry Growth in 2010

Alcatel-Lucent posted a profit for Q4 2009 as revenues improved over the preceding quarter, however sales were down across the board compared to a year earlier. Fourth quarter revenue decreased 19.9% year-over-year and increased 7.6% sequentially to Euro 3.967 billion. Fourth quarter adjusted operating income amounted to Euro 271 million or 6.8% of revenue. Adjusted gross margin came in at 36.7% of revenue for the quarter, compared to 33.3% in the year ago quarter and 33.4% in the third quarter 2009.

The company predicts the telecommunications equipment and related services market should recover in 2010, given a more stable global economic climate.

"Revenue came in at the lower end of the indicated range for the year due to the fact that our fourth quarter was not as strong as expected. However, I am encouraged by the strong sequential growth in our orders and by the accelerated traction we are seeing in next generation technologies, as evidenced by our selection by AT&T as a key supplier for LTE," stated Ben Verwaayen, CEO, Alcatel-Lucent.

"A more stable economic environment and the explosive growth of mobile internet will drive market growth in 2010 and beyond."

Some highlights of the quarterly report:

  • The carrier segment saw a double-digit decline in revenue, driven by 2G wireless access, TDM switching, terrestrial optics and broadband access. The segment did see slight growth in Submarine, good growth in IP and double-digit growth in W-CDMA.

  • Revenues for the IP division were Euro 317 million, a decrease of 5.9% from the year ago quarter at constant currency, due to the accelerated rate of decline in ATM.

  • Revenues from IP/MPLS service routers grew at a high-single digit rate this quarter, driven by a strong performance in North America and EMEA.

  • IP penetration in wireless improved, with sustained expansion in the backhaul market. The company's LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) is seeing strong traction, with 11 trials across all regions.

  • Revenues for the Optics division were Euro 763 million, a decline of 19.5% from the year ago quarter at constant currency. All segments of the terrestrial market declined this quarter although the D-WDM segment continued to recover with strong sequential growth and limited year over year decline.

  • Submarine networks saw only slight growth this quarter, compared to double-digit growth in prior quarters, albeit from a demanding year ago comparison.

  • Revenues for the Wireless Networks division were Euro 799 million, a decline of 33.7% from the year ago quarter at constant currency. GSM was again sharply impacted by slower mobile subscriber growth and a reduction in capital expenditures in all of the markets where Alcatel-Lucent has a meaningful presence. CDMA declined both year-over-year and sequentially due to market weakness in North America and the slow-down in the pace of deployment of this technology in China.

  • W-CDMA enjoyed double-digit growth on a year over year basis but declined sequentially off an exceptionally high third quarter which had seen the certification of the company's converged RNC at a large customer.

  • Enterprise revenue declined at a more moderate rate this quarter which is due to the recovery of Industrial Components.

  • Applications software revenue grew at a mid single-digit rate and finally Services revenue grew slightly.

  • For the fourth quarter 2009, revenues for the Services segment were Euro 1,030million, a decrease of 0.5% compared to Euro 1,035 million in the year-ago quarter and an increase of 18.5% compared to Euro 869 million in the third quarter 2009.

  • From a geographic standpoint and at constant currency, revenue declined at a double-digit rate in Europe (-15%), Asia Pacific (-26%) and in the rest of the world (-24%) and declined at a high single-digit rate in North America (-9%).

An archived webcast is online.

Zayo Deploys Low Latency Fiber Link -- NYC to Chicago

Zayo Bandwidth, a regional provider of fiber based bandwidth infrastructure, and a provider of carrier neutral colocation services, has deployed a low latency route between major carrier hotels in New York and Chicago.

The route was developed to support algorithmic trading requirements for financial and carrier customers. Zayo said its network not only provides low latency transmission capabilities, but also physical path diversity from other common carrier long-haul backbone routes.

This unique regional route enables global banks, financial/commodity exchanges, market data providers, hedge funds and other market participants to deliver market data and execute orders from locations within New York and Chicago including: 111 N Canal St. and 350 East Cermak Rd., both in Chicago to 165 Halsey in New Jersey, and 111 8th Ave. and 60 Hudson St., both located in New York. Zayo's sister company, Zayo Colocation Services (zColo) is the exclusive manager and operator of the 60 Hudson St. Meet-Me-Room in New York City, one of the world's largest interconnect exchanges.

SFR Picks Alcatel-Lucent and NSN for Network Upgrade and LTE Trial

SFR of France has selected Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks for a major network upgrade and an LTE trial.

Alcatel-Lucent said it will provide its Converged RAN (radio access network) solution to SFR. As part of the project, Alcatel-Lucent will provide an end-to-end LTE solution including base stations (eNodeBs), Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and associated management systems enabling SFR to evaluate the performance of LTE services and opportunities to introduce new multimedia applications. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide critical professional services such as the installation and commissioning for all of the equipment involved in the deployment and will provide the resources to operate the various network elements, including configuration, performance monitoring and fault management.

Nokia Siemens Networks said it is upgrading SFR's radio network and will provide, operate and maintain new all-IP packet core technology ready to support 4G LTE services. Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its compact, energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station for the radio network upgrade. This will enable SFR to reuse the GSM900 MHz frequency band, previously used for 2G services, in order to expand advanced 3G broadband services coverage into rural areas, simplify its network and reduce operating costs.

The mobile packet core solution being provided by Nokia Siemens Networks under a three-year agreement includes the company's LTE-ready, ATCA-based, Flexi Network Gateway for handling growth in data traffic and for ensuring uninterrupted mobile broadband services. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks will implement, operate and maintain SFR's mobile packet core and its associated IP network to deliver improved network quality and efficiency.

SFR will also deploy Nokia Siemens Networks' NetAct network management system and the company's charge@once mediate solution to simplify the collection and processing of charging and billing data, providing SFR with a variety of sophisticated services, including differentiated billing.

SFR and Nokia Siemens Networks will collaborate on piloting LTE services using Flexi Multiradio base stations that can be software upgraded to enable HSPA+ and LTE capability, as well as Nokia Siemens Networks' Evolved Packet Core for LTE.

Bharti Airtel awards US$700 Million Contract to NSN

India's Bharti Airtel has awarded a US$700 million network expansion contractto Nokia Siemens Networks. The contract includes network planning, implementation and project management, handling of local logistics and materials, as well as system integration for the base station sites.

Specifically, the GSM network expansion will cover the eight existing circles of Mumbai, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh & Chattisgarh, Bihar & Jharkhand, Orissa, Kolkata and West Bengal where Nokia Siemens Networks already provides equipment and managed services for Bharti Airtel. With close to 60% of Airtel's monthly customers coming from rural regions, this contract will enable Airtel to further aggressively expand its footprint into rural India.

Nokia Siemens Networks will deploy its energy-efficient network solutions, including Flexi multi-radio base stations, packet core platforms and microwave solutions for new and legacy networks to boost performance at a lower total cost of ownership and reduced carbon footprint.

"The unprecedented growth in the Indian telecommunications sector is compelling telecom operators to offer compelling solutions," said Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer at Nokia Siemens Networks.
Nokia Siemens Networks already supplies Bharti Airtel with a wide spectrum of solutions, including device management, mobile network portability, next-generation fixed-network and an interactive voice response system.

JDSU to Acquire Agilent's Network Solutions Business

JDSU agreed to acquire Agilent Technologies' network solutions business for $165 million in cash.

The network solutions business includes Agilent's network assurance solutions, network protocol test and drive test products. The business had annual revenue of $162 million in its fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 2009. Agilent is an industry leader in network assurance and in next-generation network test systems. Its customer base includes leading service providers and network equipment manufacturers from around the world. gilent's network solutions business employs approximately 700 people, with operations in Colorado, the U.K., Singapore and China.

The acquisition significantly expands JDSU's communications test position, including the emerging market for LTE/4G solutions required by the dozens of wireless service providers and network equipment manufacturers upgrading to this next-generation technology.

Agilent said it is selling the group because it believes the business and its customers will be better served by a company that is focused exclusively on communications network test.

"This acquisition establishes JDSU as a market leader in wireless test instruments and systems and enables us to provide customers with new innovative LTE solutions as they deploy this next-generation mobile data technology," said Tom Waechter, president and chief executive officer of JDSU. "JDSU gains market-leading technology and a talented employee team that will fit well with JDSU's customer-centric culture."

ZTE Chosen for LTE Trial in Hungary

Pannon, a mobile operator in Hungary and part of the Telenor Group, has selected ZTE as their LTE live network trial vendor. ZTE will provide an end-to-end solution, including radio and core infrastructure as well as end user terminals.

OIF Starts 100G Work on Chip-to-Module

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) has kicked off a new 100G project titled "VSR 28G Common Electrical Chip-to- Module Interface" which will support the use of less complex, lower power 100G optical modules.

The work will establish a very short reach chip-to-module electrical interface to enable 100G optical modules that do not implement full retiming in the module.

The new project will result in an implementation agreement that will define data lane(s) that support bit rates up to 28 Gbps for chip-to-module interfaces with distances from zero to a minimum of 100 mm on a host PCB. The project will also define the channel model based on a chip-to-module application as well as define a test methodology for a chip-to-module interface including a single connector.

"This implementation agreement will allow lower power, smaller form factor multi-source 100G optical modules to be developed that will increase face-plate port density," said David Stauffer, of IBM and the OIF's Physical and Link Layer Working Group chair. "This will further the integration, power reduction and cost reduction of 100 Gbps line cards."