Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ericsson Supplies Pre-Paid "Visible Balance" for Egypt's Mobinil

Ericsson is supplying a converged charging and billing solution for Mobinil's mobile subscribers in Egypt.

Most mobile users in Egypt subscribe to a pre-paid service. A big barrier to these mobile users spending more is that they can't see their current balance. With this solution, Mobinil will be able to provide more benefits to its customers as it ensures full control and flexibility over the different offers provided to them. It also improves the company's marketing capabilities, via customer segmentation, and the fast time to market the different promotional campaigns introduced to the market. The new system instantly calculates any type of transaction and offers both the consumer and operator access to the current balance.

GoAhead Adopts Open Source Business Model, Acquires Emerson's Avantellis

GoAhead Software, which specializes in high availability middleware for network equipment and defense applications, is shifting its business model and technology strategy from its proprietary SAFfire product to an open source software model.

GoAhead, which claims the market share leader in commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) high availability software, cited several reasons for its strategic shift to open source:

  • The maturity and stability of the OpenSAF software distribution, especially the upcoming 4.0 release

  • The continued support of the OpenSAF Foundation by key industry players such as Ericsson, Emerson, HP, Wind River and Huawei

  • The inclusion of OpenSAF in commercial deployments by industry leaders such as Ericsson

In conjunction with the move to open source, GoAhead is formally announcing that it is joining the OpenSAF foundation. GoAhead will be contributing key components of its SAFfire middleware to OpenSAF and company President Asif Naseem will be joining the OpenSAF foundation as a board member.

GoAhead also announced its acquisition of Avantellis from Emerson Network Power. The deal includes all Avantellis staff and key intellectual property, which centers on test cases, verification tools, documentation and management processes. Financial terms were not disclosed. Emerson Network Power will also become a global GoAhead reseller.

"The adoption of open source by industry leaders combined with the rapid maturing of OpenSAF technology makes the timing of this decision ideal for our company," said Asif Naseem, President and COO of GoAhead Software. "We look forward to contributing our breadth of experience in high availability software to this vibrant community. GoAhead's acquisition of Emerson Network Power's Avantellis team, representing many of the original developers of OpenSAF, creates an un-matched level of capability at GoAhead and enables us to continue our tradition of world-class expertise in delivering standards-based software solutions."
  • Last month, GoAhead Software announced the acquisition of the embeddedMIND business of S3. The deal includes all IP and staff associated with embeddedMIND business. Financial terms were not disclosed. embeddedMIND, which is based in Poland, develops configuration management software for network equipment manufacturers.

Fujitsu Ships LTE Base Stations to NTT DOCOMO

Fujitsu began shipping LTE mobile base station systems to NTT DOCOMO, which plans to launch LTE services in December 2010.

Fujitsu was selected by NTT DOCOMO in October 2006 as a vendor to develop and manufacture the company's LTE wireless mobile base stations. Since then, the two companies have been jointly developing and evaluating the systems.

Fujitsu said LTE, also called Super 3G, should reach transmission rates of up to 150 Mbps downstream and 50 Mbps upstream, in addition to featuring low latency. The new LTE base stations incorporate numerous advanced Fujitsu technologies, such as highly efficient amplifier technology, to make them lightweight, energy-efficient, and high-performance.

Ineoquest Offers End-to-End QoS Solution for Microsoft Mediaroom

IneoQuest Technologies introduced an end-to-end QoS solution for users of Microsoft Mediaroom. This allows network operators to identify the root causes of problems with subscriber-level granularity.

The solution integrates the IQDialogue Mediaroom Platform Manager at the level of the subscriber STB, coupled with IneoQuest's existing family of products for monitoring, analyzing, troubleshooting and reporting performance of Microsoft Mediaroom deployments. From a centralized network management location, IQDialogue Mediaroom Platform Manager performs automated analysis of devices on the network through an intelligent scheduler system. Based upon configurable and user definable categories alarm notifications can be issued so problems can be promptly addressed and trending reports provided to facilitate network planning.

Vonage Receives Second Virtual Phone Number Patent

Vonage was awarded a U.S. patent (No. 7,680,262 that allows consumers to communicate to distant locations without incurring long distance or international calling charges. This is Vonage's second patent related to the use of virtual phone numbers. Vonage's first patent directed to the use of virtual phone numbers -- No. 7,386,111 -- was granted on June 10, 2008.

Virtual phone numbers allow people outside a Vonage customer's local calling area to call for the price of a local call.

ColorChip Introduces 40 Gbps Transceiver with 10km Range

ColorChip, a start-up based in Caesarea, Israel, introduced a QSFP 40G pluggable LR transceiver supporting distances of up to 10km. An alternative to CFP transceivers, ColorChip's unique SystemOnGlass (SOG) technology integrates 4 transmitters, 4 receivers and an optical MUX/DeMUX into a small form factor package that delivers a 40 Gbps data link. The optical connectivity is based on two SMF LC connectors, one for Tx and one for Rx. The Tx and Rx each consist of 4 10GB/s CWDM channels, whose wavelengths are in the 1300nm range.

Motorola Adds TD-LTE 4Tx/8Rx Radio Head

Motorola has added a TD-LTE-Advanced capable 4Tx/8Rx radio head with multiple input/multiple output (MIMO) to its 4G - WBR 700 Series LTE eNodeB portfolio, which is the company's fourth generation orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) solution and its second generation LTE platform. The WBR 700 Series features Motorola's proprietary Intelligent OFDM Scheduler for improved sector throughput. This eNodeB portfolio supports TD-LTE as well as FDD-LTE solutions in a wide variety of frequencies from 700MHz to 2.6GHz and offers an unprecedented mix of capacity, compact size and energy efficiency.

The new TD-LTE solution - while similar in size to a standard 2Tx/2Rx LTE eNodeB - enables advanced MIMO schemes including multi user (MU) MIMO and beam-forming. The product will be available for 2.3GHz and other TD-LTE bands such as 2.6GHz.

Motorola said its energy-efficient WBR 700 TD-LTE 4Tx/8Rx radio head reduces power consumption by up to 30 percent using advanced linearization techniques, helping to lower operational expenses.

Motorola also noted that interest in TD-LTE continues to grow because of several key factors:

  • the low cost of TDD spectrum that is particularly attractive to emerging and developing markets

  • operators' continuing need for more capacity and spectrum

  • and the ability of TD-LTE to hand-off to FDD-LTE networks. This means operators can use TD-LTE networks to augment their FDD-LTE network for more capacity or other applications such as video broadcasting, while operators choosing to use TD-LTE as their "main" network can still offer their subscribers the ability to roam to other operators' FDD-LTE networks in different countries.
  • Motorola was selected last year by China Mobile Communications Corporation (CMCC) to be the primary TD-LTE solution supplier providing indoor coverage for all major pavilions at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai China.

  • Motorola's on-going advancements in TD-LTE include its recently announced first over- the-air TD-LTE data session on the TD-LTE network in Shanghai and the successful completion of the TD-LTE key functionalities tests initiated by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT).

EchoStar XIV Successfully Launched from Kazakhstan

The new EchoStar XIV satellite was launched on an International Launch Services Proton/Breeze M vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Saturday, March 20. After a nine-hour, 10-minute mission, the satellite, which was built by Space Systems/Loral, was released into geosynchronous transfer orbit. The satellite will ultimately reside at 119 degrees West longitude at an altitude of 22,000 miles.

This brings DISH Network's satellite constellation to 15. DISH Network, which currently broadcasts more than 160 HD channels as well as HD locals in 152 markets, said it will use the new capacity to further expand its HD offerings.

Ciena Completes Its Acquisition of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Division

Ciena completed its acquisition of substantially all of the optical networking and Carrier Ethernet assets of Nortel's+ Metro Ethernet Networks (MEN) business. The $773.8 million (USD) aggregate purchase price for the acquisition consists entirely of cash. Philippe Morin, previously president of Nortel MEN, has been appointed Ciena's Senior Vice President, Global Products Group.

"The acquisition of these assets accelerates Ciena's overall strategy and gives us stronger operating leverage to continue investing in innovation that will allow us to deliver on our vision for next-generation networks," said Gary Smith, Ciena's president and CEO. "With broader geographic reach, deeper customer relationships and a stronger portfolio of solutions, we're confident that this acquisition positions Ciena for faster growth."

European Commission Sets Rules for Mobile Phones on Ships

The European Commission has adopted new rules to make it easier for passengers and crew on ships in the EU's territorial waters to make mobile phone calls or send and receive text messages when they are out of range of land-based mobile phone networks. Previously, there were twenty seven different sets of national legislation on mobile phone coverage on-board cruise liners, cargo ships and ferries in European territorial waters.

The new rules ensure the availability of 900 MHz and/or 1800 MHz GSM radio frequencies for on-board communication services while protecting land-based networks from interference.

The EC also adopted a Recommendation that EU countries liberalize their authorization regimes in a way that any on-board services operator authorized in one country can provide services in the territorial waters of other EU countries without the need for further licenses.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Telstra Plans LTE Trials with Ericsson, Huawei and NSN

Telstra unveiled plans to begin LTE trials in May. The Australian carrier will spend the next three to six months testing the feasibility and technical capability of LTE. Three vendors were named for the LTE trials: Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia Siemens Networks. Ericsson has been the lead supplier of Telstra's Next G HSPA+ network.

In Hong Kong, Telstra's subsidiary company CSL is already testing LTE equipment from ZTE.

Telstra said its LTE tests will examine a variety of LTE's attributes including radio access characteristics, coverage, performance, signal propagation and various enhanced packet core features. In addition to lab evaluations, the trials will be conducted in both urban and rural areas.

"We're already achieving speeds and capacity that are among the best in the world and there's plenty left in the tank, so while LTE will be an important evolution for the Next G network, it won't be a revolution because HSPA+ is already setting the benchmark for our customers' experience," stated Michael Rocca, Telstra's Chief Operations Officer (Acting).
  • Telstra has completed the upgrade of its "Next G" HSPA+ network with Dual Carrier technology, providing peak network downlink speeds of 42Mbps. Actual customer rates will be below the theoretical peak.

    The first HSPA+ dual-carrier device will be a modem from Sierra Wireless. It goes on sale in Australia later this year and Telstra expects customers using the device will experience typical speeds in selected locations around double those seen currently with the fastest 3G devices on its network.

    The upgrade of Telstra's network to HSPA+ Dual Carrier was achieved in conjunction with network partner Ericsson, with Qualcomm and Sierra Wireless joining the team to deliver a HSPA+ Dual Carrier chipset and device.

Indonesia's ICON+ Deploys NSN's Optical Transport

PT Indonesia Comnets Plus (ICON+), a subsidiary of the National Electricity Company, is expanding its backbone network to Sumatra using hiT 7300 DWDM optical transport platform. Nokia Siemens Networks' managed services business is implementing and managing the network. The DWDM roll-out undertaken by Nokia Siemens Networks started in January 2010 and is expected to be completed in April 2010, covering most of Sumatra.

Fujitsu Adds 40 Gbps to FLASHWAVE 7500 ROADM

Fujitsu has added third generation 40 Gbps optical interfaces to its FLASHWAVE 7500 Reconfigurable Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer (ROADM) platform. The new 40 Gbps coherent interfaces for the FLASHWAVE 7500 ROADM include individual transponder, muxponder, and regenerator units. Combining advanced coherent detection technology with dual polarization quadrature phase shift keying (DP-QPSK) modulation, these new units enable enhanced performance on ultra-high speed 40 Gbps wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) networks.

The second generation 40 Gbps interface cards, which are based on Adaptive Differential Phase Shift Keying (ADPSK) modulation, are still available and will continue to be offered and supported for applications that do not require the enhanced DP-QPSK / coherent performance.

Fujitsu said its new coherent receivers offer many advantages, including improved optical performance, which allows for larger geographic networks with longer optical spans. Utilizing all-electronic compensation, coherent optics eliminate the need for dispersion compensation modules and improve operational flexibility.

Broadcom Pushes Ethernet Switching Silicon to 64x 10GbE

Broadcom introduced a new series of multi-layer Ethernet devices providing up to 64-ports of 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) with the flexibility to also support 40 Gigabit Ethernet (40GbE). The BCM56840 series supports Layer 2 / Layer 3 (L2 / L3) switching with dynamic access control lists (ACLs). It also support Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) IEEE P802.3az draft standard. Sampling is underway.

The new Broadcom BCM56840 series, which represents the eighth generation of the company's StrataXGS switch architecture, is aimed at data centers requiring sub-microsecond latency and ultra low power per single chip.

Designed in 40 nanometer (nm) process technology, the BCM56840 offers integrated SerDes. The series can be used as a foundation element to build next generation top-of-rack switches, blade switches and modular switches. These switches can be tied together to deliver a highly scalable network, interconnecting thousands of servers for enterprise, as well as cloud provider data centers.

Broadcom also has complementary silicon and software solutions for the data center market segment including a quad-port 10GBASE-T PHY, a 10GbE dual-port converged network interface controller (C-NIC), a 10GbE SFP+ PHY and software.

PT. Telkom Indonesia Selects Level 3 for US Services

PT. Telkom Indonesia International (TII) will use Level 3's landing station connectivity at the Asia America Gateway (AAG) submarine cable system. Level 3's services provide a diverse and scalable extension of TII's network to data and Internet traffic in the United States. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Level 3 is providing TII with U.S. wavelength and high-speed IP services. TII will use Level 3 wavelength transport services to backhaul data and Internet traffic between the AAG cable landing station and the Level 3 gateway in Los Angeles. From the Level 3 gateway, Level 3 high-speed IP transit services will provide nationwide connectivity for TII. The combination of Level 3 wavelength and high-speed IP services with direct connectivity to AAG offers Telkom Group more efficient and cost-effective delivery of global communications for more than 100 million end-user customers.

BridgeWave Adds QoS to its 80 GHz FlexPort Mobile Backhaul

BridgeWave Communications has added QoS capabilities to its FlexPort family of high-capacity 80 GHz radios for mobile backhaul. The gigabit backhaul solution now natively supports both legacy TDM traffic along with IP-based 4G traffic.

As more and more real-time applications appear on consumer mobile devices, carriers must ensure subscribers get the right application performance at the right time, even in times of network strain. Bridgewave said its FlexPort can now prioritize real-time application traffic to ensure these applications are given necessary network priority.

FlexPort does so by leveraging an integral five port Ethernet switch that applies Quality of Service rules to incoming traffic to prioritize data. FlexPort allows for up to eight queues for enhanced QoS performance and supports strict priority queuing or shaped deficit weighted round robin (SDWRR) queuing.

Another enhancement -- FlexPort now incorporates Ethernet Operation, Administration, and Maintenance (OAM) functionality. This facilitates automated end-to-end network management and monitoring that validates connections, detects faults and alarms, and monitors link performance.

In addition, Bridgewave is now support 1+1 configurations. This brings the same system redundancy found in traditional microwave systems to the millimeter wave spectrum with 1+1 Monitored Hot Standby (MHSB) configurations. FlexPort MHSB configurations allow for two outdoor units to be coupled to one antenna via the use of a millimeter wave MHSB Coupler, invented by BridgeWave.

CoreOptics and EXFO Demo 40G on CP-QPSK Transponder

CoreOptics and EXFO will jointly demonstrate the interworking of a 40G coherent transponder module from CoreOptics and EXFO's FTB-8140 Transport Blazer test module. This live demonstration achieves 40G error-free traffic on a next-generation multihaul DWDM line card, using EXFO's 40G Transport Blazer client-side test module with CoreOptics' 40G CP-QPSK line-side transponder, which includes advanced dual polarization, DQPSK modulation and coherent detection with digital signal processing (DSP) technologies.

The live demo will comprise a test setup of EXFO's FTB-8140 Transport Blazer (40G/43G) generating an OC-768/STM-256 signal with PRBS (pseudo-random bit stream) test patterns into a next-generation multihaul DWDM platform's line card with its integrated client 40G VSR module, FEC ASIC and line-side 40G CP-QPSK DWDM module. The transmitted output from the CoreOptics module will connect to a line system with EDFAs and 2000 km of singlemode fiber, back to the receiver end.

Alcatel-Lucent Unveils Ultimate Wireless Packet Core

Alcatel-Lucent unveiled the "Ultimate Wireless Packet Core" -- its key product set to help mobile service providers address the explosion in mobile data services on 3G networks and coming LTE networks. The solution leverages the flagship Alcatel-Lucent 7750 Service Router and the company's "High Leverage Network" strategy.

Significantly, Alcatel-Lucent is positioning its evolved packet core solution alongside policy and DPI analytics tools to bring advanced network management capabilities to both 3G and 4G networks. This will enable bandwidth-hungry, enriched and personalized services with enhanced subscriber quality of experience, while delivering improved provisioning, operating and maintenance from the radio access network (RAN) to the backhaul elements and into the packet core.

Key elements of Alcatel-Lucent's Ultimate Wireless Packet Core and end-to-end wireless network and policy management include:

  • 2G and 3G GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support Node) functionality on Alcatel-Lucent's 7750 Service Router-based mobile packet core gateways. Alcatel-Lucent's 4G mobile packet core gateway platform now supports GGSN for 2.5G and 3G as well as Serving Gateway and Packet Data Network Gateway for LTE, giving service providers a seamless and massively scalable solution for GPRS/EDGE, HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE. The 7750 SR delivers more than ten times the performance and scale of typical 3G packet core gateways, has been in global LTE trials since 2009 and will be available for commercial delivery of 2G, 3G and LTE services in the second half of 2010.

  • The new Alcatel-Lucent Wireless Mobility Manager (WMM), a high-performance and scalable solution for 2.5G/3G SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node) and LTE MME (Mobility Management Entity) on an in-house designed and optimized, common ATCAv2 platform. This combined functionality enables operators to expand or renovate their existing
    packet cores to support HSPA and HSPA+ while having the signaling and control plane performance required of an MME when they migrate to LTE.

  • The new Alcatel-Lucent 5780 Dynamic Services Controller (DSC), which provides the 3G and LTE PCRF (Policy Charging and Rules Function), enabling mobile operators to optimize and monetize network resources, while offering personalized choice for the subscriber in both a 3G and LTE environment. The Alcatel-Lucent 5780 DSC also provides the foundation for converged wireline/wireless policy management to enable any application on any screen, anywhere. The 5780 DSC is currently in global trials and will be available for commercial 3G and LTE service delivery in the second half of 2010.

  • Enhancements to the Alcatel-Lucent 5620 Service Aware Manager (SAM) include unified, end-to-end management of user (data) and control planes across mobile backhaul and packet core.

  • The Alcatel-Lucent 9900 Wireless Network Guardian (WNG) provides real-time visibility into the relationship between network element performance and end-user quality of experience (QoE) across the entire wireless data network.

"Our High Leverage Network strategy has enabled service providers to deliver large-scale, real-time, residential triple play services (Internet, Voice and IPTV) over the past five years and now we're bringing that strategy to mobile operators as they deal with tremendous growth in data and video applications,"said Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP activities and head of carrier strategy.

Network Test Automation Forum Names VZ Exec as President

The newly formed Network Test Automation Forum named Verizon's Keith Kidd as its president.

Kidd, who is a director in Verizon's Network and Technology Labs, said "Automated testing is no longer a luxury. Every organization engaged in defining, developing and delivering new services must automate as much as possible to improve the speed to market and reduce the overhead of delivering their product or service. That's what the forum will promote."

The Network Test Automation Forum (NTAF) was founded by Breaking Point Systems, BT, Cisco, Ericsson, EXFO, Empirix, Fanfare Software, Ixia Communications, JDSU, Spirent Communications and Verizon.

China Mobile Reaches 460,000 Base Stations, 96% Fiber-fed

China Mobile now has over 460,000 base stations and a population coverage rate of 98%. Over 96% of China Mobile's base stations are now served by fiber. In 2009, China Mobile has completed the upgrading of its core network to be fully IP-based.

In 2009, China Mobile's 3G network was extended to include 238 cities across the country, with
a 70% coverage rate among prefecture-level cities.

China Mobile's total customer base at the end of 2009 reached 522 million, of which 65.03 million were net additions. Revenue from value-added business increased 16.0% over last year, a contribution of 29.1% to the Group's total operating revenue, thanks to service offerings such as SMS, Color Ring, MMS, Handset Internet Access and Mobile Paper. The company also cited growth in new wireless services, such as Wireless Music Club, Fetion, 12580 Info Service Line, 139 Mailbox and Mobile Gaming.

Future services in the China Mobile product pipeline include Mobile Video, Mobile Reading and Mobile

Financially, China Mobile's annual turnover reached RMB452.1 billion for 2009, up by 9.8% compared to a year earlier. EBITDA reached RMB229.0 billion, up by 5.9%.