Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vodafone to Offer Opera Browser on Low-Cost Mobile Phones

In an effort to bring low-cost, mobile data service to more people, Vodafone announced plans to a offer a customized version of the Opera Mini browser running on low-cost handsets over 2G networks. Specifically, Vodafone and Opera Software have developed an enhanced version of the Opera Mini 5 for lower- to mid-tier handsets.

Since the Opera Mini 5 browser can compress data by up to 90 percent, it requires less processing power on the handset and uses less network capacity, resulting in a richer internet experience in more challenging conditions. The on-screen experience will feature step-by-step, simple instructions in local languages, with a strong emphasis on the use of intuitive icons to help those with lower levels of literacy.

The Opera Mini 5 browser has been embedded in a range of 20 devices as well as being downloadable to over 250 GPRS supported handsets in Vodafone's customer base.

Vodafone said it will offer highly affordable data tariffs to match this announcement.

A range of Vodafone applications is also in development, most of them designed to deliver the most social benefits to users such as email, finding a job, buying and selling services and products, learning foreign languages, as well as getting access to global applications. The initiative is initially being rolled out in India, South Africa, Turkey, Tanzania and Egypt with other markets expected to follow.

"With this product, we can transform even basic handsets into very capable internet browsing devices, enabling millions of people to enjoy the social and economic aspects of the internet that many already take for granted," said Jonathan Bill, Vodafone Internet Services Head of Emerging Markets.

In February, Vodafone launched the world's cheapest voice and text handset: the Vodafone 150, which retails at under US$15. The handset, along with the $20 Vodafone 250 handset, will be available in the first instance in India, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey, Mozambique, Qatar, South Africa and Tanzania.

Alcatel-Lucent Opens Operation Center in Istanbul, Turkey

Alcatel-Lucent has opened a new Migration Operation Center (MOC) in Istanbul, Turkey. The new facility complements Alcatel-Lucent's existing migration capabilities in countries such as Poland, India, and Australia, and will be capable of delivering critical and complex voice and data migration services in multi-technology (access, core, and transport) and multi-vendor legacy and IP environments.

CommScope Introduces Ultra-High Density Fiber Solution for Data Centers

CommScope Enterprise Solutions introduced its SYSTIMAX 360 Ultra-High Density (UHD) fiber optic solution for data centers. The system can fit 864 fibers in a 1U space -- the highest fiber-patching density currently available. It can be used to facilitate the integration of SAN directors into data center environments.

"Data center operators continue to face ever-increasing IT demands, cost pressures, changing technology and architectures. Our experts at CommScope Labs designed the SYSTIMAX 360 UHD solution with a 50 percent increase in usable density, enabling new data center architectures to face these challenges head-on," said George Brooks, vice president of data centers, CommScope Enterprise Solutions. "The SYSTIMAX 360 UHD solution enables storage growth to support the explosion of network information, allows for future growth with its modular design, and provides a clear upgrade path for 10G, 40G and 100G applications."http://www.commscope.comhttp://

Qwest Launches Hosted Unified Communications Service Platform

Qwest Communications introduced a new unified communications service platform for enterprises, government agencies and educational institutions.

Qwest iQ Hosted Unified Communication Service (iQ HUCS) integrates voice, e-mail and video services so they are accessible by landline phones, mobile phones, smart phones and computers.

The service leverages Cisco multitenant call management and is managed by Qwest. Customers can easily perform on-site moves, adds and changes (MACs) and other day-to-day administrative functions using a turnkey Web-based, operations system.

Arizona State University (ASU) will be the first Qwest customer to adopt the service platform across its four campuses to serve more than 70,000 students, faculty and staff.

Motorola Licenses Fractus' Antenna Technology

Barcelona-based Fractus has entered into a non-exclusive, worldwide patent license agreement with Motorola. The agreement includes a license under all of Fractus' patents related to internal antennas and covers the sale of all Motorola products.

Fractus noted that it has recently filed patent infringement lawsuits against ten leading cell phone manufacturers. The company believes this licensing deal with Motorola represents a major milestone in its efforts to obtain recognition for its work. Fractus claims over 80 patents worldwide, including over 30 United States patents.

Boingo Sees Immediate Impact of the iPad in Airports

The iPad has already become the second most popular non-laptop device connecting to Boingo's WiFi networks, displacing Android devices and more than doubling the daily number of visits for the previous second place device.

"It's stunning how quickly the iPad has established itself as a force in Wi-Fi," said Dave Hagan, president and CEO of Boingo Wireless. "After four days in market, it is already being more widely used than other Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices that have moved millions of units."

The iPhone is still the indisputable king of mobile devices, representing nearly 90% of all non-laptop connections in Boingo's airports. The above data represents all Wi-Fi enabled non-laptop devices in Boingo's managed network, which includes 58 airports, the Washington State Ferries, and several sporting arenas and convention centers.

Swisscom Deploys Mobixell's Converged Rich Media Delivery Platform

Swisscom has deployed Mobixell Networks' converged rich media delivery solution to bring video and live TV to personal computers and smartphones. Mobixell allows Swisscom to offer and manage over 50 live TV channels that can be watched in HD quality via PCs, laptops, Apple iPhone and other mobile devices, as well as across multiple networks such as DSL, Wi-Fi, hotspots or HSPA/UMTS/Edge. The service launched last month.

Mobixell's Videon supports Microsoft's Silverlight Smooth Streaming, Apple's HTTP live streaming, Adobe RTMP and 3GPP streaming in a centralized delivery platform.

Telcordia Warns of "All-You-Can-Eat" Mobile Data Plans

Mobile operators face an unsustainable long-term financial challenge with all-you-can eat mobile data pricing when you combine it with third-party "over-the-top" (OTT) video and content services, according to a new study published by Telcordia.

The warning comes despite the fact that data ARPU has increased steadily over the past several years and is now a major component of the growth strategy for mobile operators.

The traffic growth on these networks, however, significantly outpaces the revenue growth.

"The popularity of video and other third-party OTT services are breaking mobile broadband networks and business models because they siphon off revenue while adding to the network's workload," said Pat McCarthy, Vice President, Marketing, Service Delivery Solutions, Telcordia. "Operators should use this problem as an opportunity to transform themselves from dumb pipes into value-added players that capture revenue from OTT personalization services."

Telcordia is recommending policy-based bandwidth management and real-time charging solutions to give priority access to personalized end user services that generate revenue for an operator, while zero-revenue OTT content is managed at a lower tier.

The "Mobile Broadband: Surf the Broadband Wave with a Customer-Centric Business Model" white paper is posted on the company's website.

Motorola Supplies Passive Optical LAN for Stony Brook University

Motorola's passive optical LAN (POL) solution has been installed at the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) at Stony Brook University in New York. Motorola teamed with Verizon Business and ADC to implement an all-fiber enterprise LAN infrastructure solution which provides a secure, energy-efficient and highly cost-effective alternative over traditional enterprise LAN architectures.

Verizon Business provided integration services and support surrounding the implementation while ADC provided all of the fiber-structured cabling components for the POL implementation at the Center. Motorola estimates ROI and low TCO at half the cost of copper-based LANs.

Global IP Solutions First to Bring Video Chat to Android Mobiles

Global IP Solutions released its GIPS VideoEngine for Android, which provides mobile developers the vital building blocks for integrating video conferencing/video chat into applications running Google's Android mobile operating system. The software helps deal with issues such as delay, packet loss, bandwidth limitations and echo.

GIPS VideoEngine Mobile is already available on the iPhone and Windows Mobile OS platforms.

Harris Receives Australian Order for Networked Battlefield Communications

Harris was awarded a US$112 million (AUD$135 million) order for its Falcon tactical radio systems that will provide battlefield networking capabilities to the Australian Department of Defence. The order consists primarily of Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-152 multiband handheld radios, but also includes Harris Falcon III AN/PRC-117G wideband, AN/PRC-117F multiband and AN/PRC-150 high-frequency (HF) manpack radios.

Harris Completes Final Test of Navy Satellite X + K-ban Sat Terminal

Harris completed the operational test of the first U.S. Navy satellite communications terminal to simultaneously provide standard military X-band communications and higher-speed Ka-band communications through a single dual-band feed.

The AN/WSC-6G(V)9 terminal is designed for use onboard the Navy's Arleigh Burke class of guided-missile destroyers.

Harris said this milestone represents the last phase of a 10-year, $172 million contract it was awarded in 2000 by the U.S. Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR), San Diego.

The Harris AN/WSC-6E(V)9 "Ka-ready" terminals currently installed throughout the fleet can now be upgraded from C-/X-band to include the Ka-band communications capabilities through pier-side installation of a Ka-band electronics kit. Fielding of Ka-band kits is expected to begin in the U.S. Government's fiscal year 2011.

Procera Networks Introduces PacketLogic PL8720

Procera Networks introduced a two rack unit (2RU) 10 Gbps deep packet inspection (DPI) appliance for providing awareness, analysis, and control over network traffic at a much lower cost point than before. The new PacketLogic PL8720 is designed for networks transitioning from GE (gigabit Ethernet) to 10GE links. It offers up to eight 10GE or sixteen 10GE ports -- the greatest DPI port density per rack unit on the market.

Instead of a chassis-based system with a higher initial cost of deployment, the PL8720 allows service providers to have lower capital expenditures and operating expenses. The initial cost is less than half of many chassis-based 10GE solutions. Procera said it was able to leverage the latest hardware and software technology to achieve this significant reduction in the cost of 10GE DPI solutions.

Multiple systems can also be clustered to support growth up to 80 Gbps of throughput in a single deployment. The platform uses Procera's Datastream Recognition Definition Language (DRDLTM) and the PacketLogic Intelligence Center used in the company's larger platform. The PL8720 ships with the same extensive feature-set as the other PacketLogic family members; including support for asymmetric and geographically dispersed network deployments that uniquely positions PL8720 for growing broadband networks.

NSN Upgrades Aurora Fiber Backbone in Tasmania

Aurora Energy and Nokia Siemens Networks have completed a major capacity upgrade on the TasGovNet optical fiber backbone network, which connects the cities of Hobart, Launceston, Burnie and Devonport in Tasmania.

For the upgrade, Aurora selected Nokia Siemens Networks to supply and deploy its hiT 7300 DWDM platform as well as related equipment and support services. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Aurora is Nokia Siemens Networks' fifth deployment in Australia of the hiT 7300 platform.

China Mobile Inks MOU with Taiwan's Far EasTone

China Mobile signed a memorandum of understanding with Far EasTone, Taiwan's third largest mobile operator. The carriers agreed to collaborate on the testing of 4G networks in Taiwan. Specifically, the testing will focus on TD-LTE, the technology being adopted by China Mobile.
  • Last year, China Mobile sought to acquire a 12% stake in Far Eastone, but the plans were held up by the government of Taiwan, which has barred mainland Chinese investment in local telecom operators.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Optimum Lightpath's Low Latency Optical Transport Offers Microsecond SLA

Cablevision's Optimum Lightpath group announced the availability of a point-to-point, low-latency, optical transport service for customers in the finance, healthcare, media and government sectors. The service is available on pre-equipped and pre-conditioned routes on Optimum Lightpath's footprint, and based on a simple, flat-rate pricing model.

Optimum Lightpath said it can deliver speeds down to the microsecond level with guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLAs). The SLA include a guaranteed minimum latency and circuit turn up time frame, and rapid time to market availability. One gigabit and 10 Gbps wavelengths are offered within Optimum Lightpath's NY metro area footprint.

The New York metropolitan area hosts the largest concentration of financial institutions in the country, and applications such as electronic trading, information exchange and electronic messaging increasingly require ultra-low latency as every microsecond matters when making trades and offering competitive services to a global customer base. Large customers in the healthcare and government sectors have also expressed demand for low latency services.

Alcatel-Lucent names John Dickson as head of Operations

Alcatel-Lucent announced the appointment of John Dickson as head of Operations, replacing Michel Rahier, who is pursuing other interests outside Alcatel-Lucent. He will oversee the procurement, hardware and software supply chain, manufacturing, logistics, and real estate activities of the company.

Dickson most recently served as President and CEO of Agere Systems, a global leader in semiconductors for storage, wireless data, and public and enterprise networks that subsequently merged with LSI. Prior to Agere Systems John served as executive vice president and CEO of Lucent Technologies' Microelectronics and Communications Technologies Group, with responsibility for the company's Microelectronics, Intellectual Property, Network Products, Lucent Venture Partners and New Ventures units.

Alcatel-Lucent Enhances 9500 Microwave Packet Radio

Alcatel-Lucent has enhanced its microwave packet radio portfolio for the North American market with additional features and support for additional frequency bands to better address the needs of mobile service providers. The microwave packet radios can be used to interconnect 2G, 3G and LTE cellular base stations between each other and the fiber metro network. At each hop they aggregate any type of traffic (TDM, ATM and Ethernet) and then transport it to a concentration point on the fiber metro network.

The new release of the Alcatel-Lucent 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR) provides more flexibility in terms of radio frequency planning, support for longer range transmissions and increased efficiency to support service providers' transformation to all-IP, and the introduction of LTE mobile data services.

The 9500 MPR, which supports for both TDM and pure Ethernet base-stations, has now been extended to support ANSI frequency bands to include 10.5 and 11 GHz. The addition of the 10.5 and 11 GHz bands provides an efficient alternative to 6 GHz by relieving frequency congestion, enhancing overall network availability and reducing tower lease costs. Additionally, higher transmit power options are introduced into the 6 GHz band allowing the use of smaller antennas or longer path distances, significantly improving the flexibility of network designs for mobile operators. These features, coupled with the all-indoor design allow operators to deploy microwave backhaul with zero tower climbs for operation and maintenance.

Alcatel-Lucent also noted a number of other special features for its 9500 MPR, including service-driven adaptive modulation, DS1 and DS3 in packets via pseudo-wire/CES (circuit emulation services), multi-service aggregation, long haul full indoor transceivers, short haul split mount transceivers, and Ethernet synchronization distribution.
  • In April 2009, Alcatel-Lucent announced a global resale agreement to integrate multi-gigabit millimeter wave radios from BridgeWave into its 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR) transmission solutions. The agreement expanded the frequency range covered by the 9500 MPR for the high-frequency 60-90 GHz spectrum to provide customers up to 2.6 Gbps of capacity, sufficient to support the anticipated transport requirements for 2G, 3G and 4G networks.

Verizon Tests IPv6 on FiOS

Verizon has begun testing IPv6 for its FiOS services. The month-long trial involves FiOS-enabled customer homes with customized CPE - provided by Verizon - that can support both IPv6 and IPv4. The dual protocol setup will also be implemented on Verizon's edge gateway routers. Verizon employs 6PE technology, which uses IPv6-provider edge routers to connect across the company's IPv4 MPLS core. The IPv6 traffic is then sent over IPv6-capable peering connections.

Jean McManus, executive director - packet network technology for Verizon said a key advantage of IPv6 is that a customer's home router would no longer require network address translation (NAT), which makes it possible for a single public Internet address to be translated into many private IP addresses to accommodate multiple IP-enabled devices inside the home. IPv6 allows each device to have its own public address.

Verizon noted that it first deployed IPv6 in 1998 for its very high-performance backbone network service (vBNS) for government customers. The company continues to support IPv6 on its networks used by enterprise and government customers and will enable and deploy additional IPv6 equipment and services on its public and private IP global networks in 2010 and 2011.

Verizon is also implementing IPv6 in its evolved packet core that will be supporting its LTE network.

Verizon CEO: Smartphone Revolution Centered in U.S.

The smart phone revolution" is already centered in the U.S. and America's communications companies are deploying "game-changing" fiber networks and 4G LTE networks that "will leapfrog the world in wireless," said Ivan Seidenberg, Verizon's chairman and CEO in a session at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

"In a 4G world, wireless will connect everything," Seidenberg said. "There's really no limit to the number of connections that can be part of the mobile grid: vehicles, appliances, buildings, roads, medical monitors. This 'Internet of Things' will infuse intelligence into all our systems and present us with a whole new way to run a home, an enterprise, a community or an economy."

Seidenberg also said that he has been in touch with Apple about offering the iPhone on the Verizon network, but the decision to do so was up to Apple.

The complete text of Seidenberg's statement is available on the company's website.