Thursday, February 18, 2010

Anritsu Shows Handheld LTE Tester

Anritsu has extended its BTS Master handheld base station analyzer with new options to measure all defined LTE bandwidths and frequencies. The handheld instrument allows field engineers and technicians to conduct RF, modulation, and Over-the-Air (OTA) measurements on signals during the deployment, installation, and operation of LTE networks.

With the new options, Anritsu's tester provides RF and modulation quality measurement capabilities for LTE bandwidths from 1.4 MHz all the way through to 20 MHz. The company has also developed LTE options for its MT8222A BTS Master and MT8212E Cell Master, to offer operators testing flexibility. The LTE option for the MT8212E allows the handheld instrument to measure RF and modulation at 1.4 MHz, 3 MHz, 5 MHz, and 10 MHz bandwidths, while the option for the MT8222A extends its LTE bandwidth coverage down to 1.4 MHz. An existing option allowed the MT8222A to measure the 10 MHz bandwidth.

Anritsu said its solution allows users to validate the over-the-air performance of the complete eNode-B system, as well as troubleshoot problems with an LTE signal when the BTS Master and Cell Master analyzers are equipped with the OTA option. The OTA option can also be used to verify/validate LTE signal coverage with the instruments' scanner functionality.

The MT8212E is a handheld multi-function base station analyzer that combines all the tools required to deploy, maintain and troubleshoot wireless base stations into a lightweight, battery-operated package. BTS Master is an integrated multi-functional base station test tool that eliminates the need to carry and learn multiple test sets. In addition to RF, demodulation and OTA measurements, capabilities include spectrum analysis, precision return loss, VSWR, cable loss, distance-to-fault, two-port gain/loss, one- and two-port magnitude and phase, interference analysis, and spectrogram.

Zayo Lands $25.1M Federal Stimulus Award

Zayo Bandwidth was awarded $25.1 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to connect 21 Ivy Tech Community College campuses to the I-Light network, Indiana's high-performance, optical-fiber telecommunications network for research and education. The award also will allow Zayo Bandwidth to expand broadband connectivity to certain unserved and underserved areas across Indiana.

Zayo Bandwidth will add 620 miles of fiber to its existing 2,750 mile network across the state. The new network will pass through 80 communities in unserved and underserved regions that include 480,300 households, 49,070 businesses, 3,270 health centers, 420 public safety centers, 1,070 education centers and 2380 government centers.

The total project cost will be $35.8M which includes $4.4M of Zayo in-kind contribution and $6.3M of Zayo cash match. The project announced today is part of a $7.2 billion program being implemented under the Recovery Act to expand broadband access and adoption across the country.

FCC Highlights Elements of Upcoming National Broadband Plan

With the deadline for delivering a National Broadband Plan to Congress on March 17 less than a month away, the FCC team developing the plan presented elements under consideration in the "national purposes" section of the plan. The working recommendations highlight the role of broadband to healthcare, education, energy and the environment, government, public safety and homeland security, job training, and small business.

Government plays a major role in these sectors as policymaker, buyer, or supplier, but its
policies have often inhibited or failed to provide incentives for investment in and innovative use
of broadband.

More detail can be found in the presentation made to the Commission, which is
posted online.

TelePacific Completes $395 Million Senior Credit Facility

TelePacific Communications, a CLEC serving SMBs in California and Nevada, completed syndication of a $395 million senior credit facility to a group of institutional investors.

Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC, Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and Banc of America Securities LLC, acted as Joint Bookrunners and Joint Lead Arrangers, and Credit Suisse AG, as Administrative Agent and Collateral Agent. The facility is comprised of a $370 million term loan due in August 2015 and a $25 million revolving line of credit.

TelePacific noted that its 2009 annual revenues grew to approximately $452.2 million for the year, compared with $443.9 million for the year ending December 31, 2008. Access lines in service grew in excess of 8% to achieve approximately 1.1 million lines in service by the end of 2009. Average monthly customer line churn was less than 1.3%; and the company achieved a customer satisfaction rating of 94%.

Corning's New OptiTip Pulls Four Fibers in FTTH

Corning Cable Systems GmbH & Co KG is introducing a Multi Fiber Preconnectorised OSP Solution that enables up to four fibers per customer to be rapidly connected without the need for expensive fusion splicers or installation skills. Corning said its multi fiber plug 'n play solution enables the advantage of preconnectorised outside plant to be used in a multi fiber environment.

Motorola Completes Acquisition of BitBand

Motorola completed its previously announced acquisition of BitBand, a provider of IPTV content management and delivery systems. BitBand will be integrated into Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility business.

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

Motorola said the acquisition ov BitBand will complement its existing on demand product line which includes the Adaptive Media Management framework for content management and high-performance streaming servers for centralized and edge-based on demand networks. BitBand brings products tailored for IP video and expertise in IPTV solutionhttp://www.motorola.comhttp://

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Aruba's Revenues Rise to $63 Million, up 31%

Aruba Networks reported revenues of $62.7 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2010, an increase of approximately 31% over the $47.7 million reported in the fiscal second quarter of 2009. GAAP net loss for the fiscal second quarter of 2010 was $4.4 million, or $0.05 per share, compared to a net loss of $6.8 million, or $0.08 per share, in the fiscal second quarter of 2009. GAAP results for the fiscal second quarter of 2010 also included $9.0 million of non-cash stock-based expenses, $1.2 million of amortization expenses of acquired intangible assets and $0.5 million in litigation reserves.

"During the quarter we saw strong demand across a broad range of industries and geographies, driving record revenues up 31% year-over-year and 9% sequentially," said Dominic Orr, president and chief executive officer of Aruba. "The adoption of 802.11n continues to be a catalyst for growth and enables our key network rightsizing and Virtual Branch Networking initiatives. Both of these initiatives contributed to our strong quarterly growth as enterprises drive to reduce operating expenses and network costs while supporting increasingly mobile workforces. We are very pleased to have added more than 700 new customers during the quarter, a record for the company, bringing our total installed base to over 9,300 customers."

Infonetics: Carrier Switch and Router Market up 17% in Q4, Tellabs Gains

Worldwide revenue from service provider IP edge routers, IP core routers, carrier Ethernet switches, and multiservice ATM switches jumped 17% in 4Q09, led by strong IP edge router sales, according to a newly released "Service Provider Routers and Switches" forecast from Infonetics Research.

Asia Pacific is the only region to post year-over-year growth in IP edge and core router revenue, up 19% in 2009 from 2008, pushed in no small part by the Chinese government telecom stimulus and the competitiveness of the newly re-organized Chinese operators.

"The top two vendors in the service provider router space, Cisco and Juniper, together went from owning 69% of the worldwide router market in 2008 to 59% in 2009, while Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, and others gained share. Interestingly, smaller player Tellabs pushed past Ericsson in 2009, putting them in the top five for the first time. Tellabs had an especially strong year based on their focus on the mobile sector. All six of the top router vendors posted strong double-digit revenue increases in the fourth quarter, and we expect modest growth in the router segment to continue in 2010 as carriers carry out fixed-mobile convergence strategies for their router networks," notes Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst for carrier and data center networks at Infonetics Research.

Comcast Launches Online Back-up with EMC's Mozy

Comcast is launching a Secure Backup & Share service for its high-speed Internet customers. The service is offered in partnership with Mozy, an online backup service from EMC.

Cloud Security Alliance Partners with IEEE

The Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) announced a partnership with IEEE to ensure that best practices and standards are developed and available to provide security assurance for cloud computing. The first step is a survey to identify and define the most critical security concerns surrounding enterprise cloud computing.

Results will be announced at the Cloud Security Alliance Summit, a half-day event being held at the RSA conference in San Francisco on March 1, 2010.

"The true promise of cloud computing will only be realized if all aspects of security are addressed and communicated in a truly open and collaborative manner," said Judy Gorman, Managing Director, IEEE-SA. "Both CSA and the IEEE bring a unique and informed perspective to the table and this survey will help set the agenda for developing a comprehensive set of cloud security standards."

Ixia Reports Q4 Revenue of $56 Million

Ixia reported Q4 2009 revenues of $56.1 million, an increase of 37% over $41.0 million reported in the 2008 fourth quarter and an increase of 21% over the $46.4 million reported for the immediately preceding third quarter. Revenues for the 2009 fourth quarter include $6.9 million attributable to the acquisition of Agilent Technologies' N2X Data Network Testing Product line on October 30, 2009 and $6.9 million related to the acquisition of Catapult Communications in June 2009.

On a GAAP basis, Ixia recorded a net loss for the 2009 fourth quarter of $31.3 million, or $0.50 per share, compared to a net loss of $18.3 million, or $0.29 per share, for the 2008 fourth quarter. Results for the 2009 fourth quarter include a $27.6 million, or $0.44 per share, income tax charge to write-down the value of U.S. deferred tax assets.

"2009 was a pivotal year for Ixia, and the fourth quarter offered strong evidence of the success of our strategy," commented Atul Bhatnagar, Ixia's president and chief executive officer. "In the fourth quarter, we returned to sequential and year-over-year growth as core revenues increased by 9% sequentially and we got contributions from both of our acquisitions. Demand was broad-based on both a product line and geographic basis and we are cautiously optimistic that this demand will continue into 2010."

AT&T Activates 1,000th Alternative Fuel Corporate Fleet Vehicle

AT&T has deployed the 1,000th alternative-fuel vehicle in its corporate fleet. The deployment is part of a $565 million commitment announced in March 2009 to replace more than 15,000 fleet vehicles with more fuel-efficient models through 2018. AT&T currently operates a fleet of more than 77,000 vehicles. The most recent vehicle is a van that uses compressed natural gas (CNG).

Verizon Turns Android Phone into FiOS Remote

Verizon introduced a FiOS Mobile Remote application that enables a Motorola Droid or HTC Imagio mobile phone to be used as a television remote control. The mobile remote has virtually the same functionality as the standard FiOS remote, plus additional features including instantly transferring photos from the handset to the TV screen. Verizon will expand this service, Verizon FiOS Mobile Remote, to additional mobile phones in the coming months.

"With FiOS Mobile Remote we're leveraging the in-home FiOS network to marry the cell phone to the TV for simpler, more convenient navigation, along with entirely new phone-to-TV experiences that cable can't match," said Shawn Strickland, vice president of FiOS product management for Verizon. "This kind of feature underscores for customers how powerful the FiOS in-home network is -- and the potential it has for constant innovation."

Aircel Awards $300 Million Contract to NSN for GSM in Northern India

Aircel has awarded a contract valued in excess of US$300 million to Nokia Siemens Networks to roll out, manage radio and core network and services in three Indian states.

Aircel, which is the Indian subsidiary of Malaysia's Maxis Group, plans to roll out services in Haryana, Punjab, and Rajasthan in April and has selected Nokia Siemens Networks to supply the GSM network and manage it for four years.

As part of the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will supply the radio, core and microwave network equipment and roll it out quickly. Nokia Siemens Networks will deliver and implement its Flexi EDGE Base Station and IP-ready FlexiHybrid Microwave radio products, as well as its mobile softswitch core network, and NetAct network management system and NetViewer element manager to help Aircel monitor, manage and optimize the network.

AT&T to Open Innovation Centers Supporting LTE Trials

AT&T will open at least three Innovation Centers later this year to drive development of next-generation devices, applications and equipment that expand the capabilities of mobile and wired broadband. Alcatel-Lucent and Ericsson plan to participate in the AT&T Innovation Centers.

Initial plans call for the opening of two AT&T Innovation Centers in the U.S. and one international facility. AT&T said it will work directly with device makers, application developers and network equipment providers to expedite development of an ecosystem of mobile and wired broadband services and capabilities for consumers and business users. Third-party developers will have access to a full range of AT&T services and network capabilities to facilitate development of new applications. AT&T is especially interested in application that span wireless and wireline networks and across multiple screens.

"Collaborative innovation is at the heart of broadband today, and it will be even more critical in the years to come as we work to ensure that customers get the most out of mobile broadband platforms like LTE and service platforms like U-verse IPTV," said John Donovan, AT&T's chief technology officer."We envision these AT&T Innovation Centers as a crossroads for the industry to drive new capabilities crossing networks, devices and applications. They will provide an opportunity for AT&T experts to work directly with others in the industry to develop, evaluate and perfect new apps and services as broadband networks continue to evolve in the years to come."

AT&T said the Innovation Centers complement its strategy to continually enhance and expand mobile broadband capabilities over the next several years. In 2010 and 2011, AT&T will work to further increase speeds on its 3G network by deploying fiber-optic backhaul connections and HSPA 7.2 technology. AT&T is also preparing to launch field trials of LTE ahead of its first commercial LTE deployment in 2011.

Brocade Debuts Top-of-rack Data Center Switch

Brocade introduced a top-of-the-rack data center switch with a base price starting at $4,945.

The new Brocade FCX series of 10/100/1000 Mbps with 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) uplink top-of-rack (ToR) switches are designed for data center performance and simplified management in virtualized server environments.

To address the growing need to scale and support highly virtualized data centers, customers can stack the Brocade FCX switches horizontally across server racks to create a single logical switch.

The Brocade FCX switches are available in 24- or 48-port models with wire-speed performance. They deliver up to 40 Gbps of switching bandwidth between stack members to help minimize inter-switch bottlenecks. The switches have an optional 4-port 10 GbE module, doubling the number of 10 GbE connections between network layers.

To facilitate unified management and increase security through multiple interfaces, the new Brocade FCX series leverages an industry-standard command-line interface. In addition, Brocade IronView Network Manager (INM) displays network- and application-level traffic information in a secure Web-based management interface to greatly simplify network provisioning, troubleshooting and alarm reporting. In response to a detected security threat, Brocade INM can automatically apply a security policy, thwarting network attacks in real time without administrator intervention.

Separately, Brocade reported this week that its gear is now deployed in the three top Internet Exchange Points (IXP) worldwide. The company noted that its NetIron MLX routers allow users to combined as many as 32-ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) to provide an aggregated link capacity of 320 Gbps. Brocade has also applied advanced load-sharing algorithms in order to fully utilize the increased capacity, establishing a highly advanced link aggregation solution.

NEC Supplies Microwave Backhaul for O2's LTE Trial

NEC has supplied its flagship microwave backhaul solution, PASOLINK, to Telefonica O2 for its trial of LTE network in the UK. The equipment links to one of O2's key LTE trial sites in the Slough area, Berkshire, UK. NEC's PASOLINK is used to carry high-definition video streaming, mobile gaming, high-speed file transfer and video conferencing.

NEC Simulates LTE Self Organizing Networks (SON)

NEC introduced a 3-dimensional Self Organizing Network (SON) simulator that checks and optimizes an LTE network. The system can be used to verify the effectiveness of SON in urban settings by evaluating LTE system performance amid 3-dimensional radio propagation.

Self Organizing Networks (SON) networks collect and analyze data from operational base stations and user terminals in order to measure the quality of network data, such as radio signal levels and data throughput, and then autonomously adjust configurations, such as transmission power. NEC said SON networks will help mobile operators to significantly reduce the frequency of field surveys, including radio quality tests that require dedicated measurement instruments, and improve network quality.

NEC's SON simulation system has been testing in an LTE trial network with 25 base stations in a 6-km2 central area of Yokohama, Japan. The system confirmed that the base stations' handover configurations were automatically optimized and dropped calls were prevented. It was also confirmed that base station energy consumption was saved, without degrading communication quality, through implementation of an autonomous sleep control that responded to the hour of the day.

Telefónica Selects NEC for Cloud Computing in Latin America

Telefónica has selected NEC as a strategic partner to promote Cloud Computing in Latin America. The deal will enhance NEC's position as a partner of Telefonica in the major service areas of applications. These include software as a service (SaaS), Desktop/Virtual PC as a service (access to PC over a network) and other on-demand services and applications ("everything as a service" or XaaS).

NEC said it will deploy platforms and applicationss necessary to launch Cloud Services in Latin America, including logistics, location, collaboration, virtual PC, CRM, ERP, health, games and media applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The new agreement follows the recent contract signed by NEC and Telefónica of Spain to launch applications and software as a service (marketed as "Aplicateca"). It is part of the activities of NEC's new European Competence Center for Cloud Computing and value added services, which was established in Madrid in early 2009.
At Mobile World Congress, NEC introduced Cloud Platform Suite for telecommunications carriers. Key aims of this suite include:

  • Transform switching centers into data centers. The package is designed to transform carrier switch centers into data centers without major renovation, thereby reducing cost and lead time. It includes support of a DC- 48V power supply and rack-style air-conditioning units that minimize the need for the additional installation of air conditioning.

  • Simplify configuration and establish low-cost operations. The package includes integrated operation software that automatically manages virtual environments as well as hardware resources. The software has a user friendly interface that enables carriers to create a virtualized system easily by clicking on pre-installed templates. This easy-to-use interface enables users to accommodate quick expansion and failure recovery of the system.

  • NEC also provides its predictive system, performance analysis software "MasterScope Invariant Analyzer." The software automatically identifies potential performance issues that are undetectable by conventional monitoring tools. It enables the carrier to run a quick failure analysis and manage trouble shooting of its cloud service.

  • Power efficiency. Cooling costs are reduced through a Hot Air Containment System (HACS) that encloses hot air emitted from racks into a narrow space and cools it down intensively. The total costs of the data center are reduced further by rack style servers, storage and network devices that conserve electricity.

NEC said its Cloud Platform Suite will also offer a Programmable Flow Switch and Controller, which will deliver efficiency and visualization to data center networks and be available by the end of March 2011.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

NetWitness Uncovers Massive ZeuS Botnet

A global botnet known as "Kneber" has compromised some 74,000 PCs worldwide while being detected by less than 10% of anti-virus products and eluding corporate intrusion detection systems (IDS), according to a newly published paper by NetWitness, a network security firm based in Herndon, Virginia. The story was first reported by The Wall Street Journal.

The infection is believed to have spread to major corporations and government agencies using a ZeuS trojan attack. The botnet is designed to steal log-in data on webforms, including banking details. Additionally, NetWitness claims the botnet can search for and copy any file that is resident on the host PC. Its data indicates that the malware is most present on Windows XP and Windows Vista systems. NetWitness said the exploit campaign has been running for over a year and is still active.

The company has posted a 17-page whitepaper on the topic to its website.
  • NetWitness is headed by Amit Yoran, who previously was Director of the US-CERT and National Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security. He also served as CEO and advisor to In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA.