Monday, April 12, 2010

WiMAX Forum Launches New Open Retail Initiative

The WiMAX Forum kicked off an Open Retail Initiative aimed at increasing the global availability of WiMAX devices, while reducing the technical and capital overhead by WiMAX network operators to test products on their network.

The new certification program seeks to drive the proliferation of WiMAX consumer devices, sold direct or through retail channels that can be activated with ease by the consumer over the air (OTA) on the network of any participating operator. To fully support this new program, the WiMAX Forum will have its designated certification laboratories ready to test and certify mobile Open Retail devices for interoperability in May 2010.

As part of the new certification program, The WiMAX Forum announced a significant number of new capability requirements and tests -- including radiated performance testing (RPT) thresholds and operator interoperability testing (IOT). The program could reduce a mobile operator's interoperability testing overhead. In addition, these tests will ensure equipment interoperability at the level operators require. In order to address and scale to market demands, the WiMAX Forum has the following independent lab resources available to certify equipment and devices in an end-to-end IOT environment: AT4 Wireless (U.S. and Spain labs), Bureau Veritas ADT (Taiwan), Telecom Technology Center (Taiwan), China Academy of Telecommunication Research (China), and the Telecommunications Technology Association (Korea). Later this fall, the WiMAX Forum will add another test facility in Malaysia.

"The introduction of the Open Retail Initiative is a pivotal step for the WiMAX ecosystem to remain on the current accelerated path for mass adoption through a certification and IOT program that provides significant benefits to operators and vendors," said Ron Resnick, president and chairman of the WiMAX Forum.

CENX and Interxion Partner on Carrier Ethernet Exchange

Interxion and CENX will jointly launch a pan-European Carrier Neutral Ethernet Exchange service.

The CENX-Interxion service will be available in Interxion's London data centre in June 2010 with expansions being planned for other locations including, amongst others, Amsterdam and Paris.

CENX noted that its Carrier Ethernet marketplace provides access to over 5 million Ethernet end user locations served by more than ten service providers, including Verizon and Level 3.

Interxion operates data centres in 11 European countries, providing direct connectivity to all the major Carrier Ethernet service providers.

"Our partnership with European market leader Interxion, with over 350 interconnected carriers throughout Europe, allows CENX to create the only European solution bringing both the ease of colocated physical connectivity together with the efficiency of CENX's Carrier Ethernet Exchange solution," said Nan Chen, CEO and co-founder of CENX.

AT&T to Offer Video Publishing from iStreamPlanet

Enhancements to AT&T's Digital Media Solutions announced this week include the ability to dynamically adapt video delivery for a better viewing on various devices. AT&T Digital Media Solutions supports Adobe Flash Media Interactive Server 3.5, allowing customers to take advantage of adaptive bit rate streaming technology, which dynamically adjusts video delivery for an optimized viewing experience for the end user.

In addition, AT&T announced an agreement with iStreamPlanet to expand the range services supporting video creation and publishing. Specifically, AT&T will offer iStreamPlanet's Director, Presenter and Managed Live Broadcasting and Professional Services including content acquisition, encoding into all media formats, inclusive of the latest adaptive streaming formats, design and development of rich media experiences, and project management.


AT&T to Deploy HD-SDI Switching to Distribute Contribution Video

AT&T confirmed plans to deploy a standards-based High Definition-SDI video transport and switching network capability for the professional broadcast marketplace.

The new capability combines AT&T's SONET optical network with next-generation video transport technology based on JPEG2000 compression standards. It will support HD-SDI at rates between 75Mb and 400Mb along with SD-SDI at 24Mb to 150Mb.

Following a successful pilot program in January, AT&T expects to start delivering the feature utilizing JPEG2000 compression capabilities beginning 3Q 2010 in major metropolitan areas across North America.

"This enhancement to our AT&T Global Video Services portfolio will enable broadcast customers to take advantage of a cost-effective, high availability, high quality compression process for migrating to next generation video services such as 3D and higher-quality HD," said Sanford Brown, vice president, AT&T Connectivity and Metro Network Services. "AT&T has the ability to reach many media outlets on a global scale with a high level of network redundancy and resiliency -- and now with JPEG2000 compression technology planned -- for an unparalleled viewing experience."

4Home Raises $7 Million for Connected Home Software

4Home, a start-up based in Sunnyvale, California, raised $6.8 million in Series-B financing for its connected home software.

The company is known primarily for its work in pioneering connected home services, which include energy management, home control and monitoring, media management, and home health.

"4Home's revenue grew by 300% in the past year and we more than doubled our workforce in the same period. As a result of this growth we'll be relocating our offices to a larger Sunnyvale complex in May," said Leon Hounshell, President and CEO of 4Home. "We couldn't be more excited about the momentum 4Home is building and are expecting strong growth in 2010."

4Home recently announced strategic partnerships with Sensus Metering Systems, the nation's largest AMI (advanced metering infrastructure) vendor, Marvell Semiconductor, and Sigma Designs, among others.

3Crowd Raises $6 million for Cloud Mgt Tools

3Crowd Technologies, a start-up based in San Mateo, California, raised $6.62 million in Series A financing for its crowd-sourcing method of leveraging multiple content delivery networks (CDNs).

3Crowd has developed a series of management tools that give enterprises greater controls over content delivery and other cloud services, enabling them to use multiple services at once and thereby command new pricing and performance dynamics. 3Crowd's flagship product, CrowdDirector, effectively unifies any services that are based on web protocols, so they can be monitored, managed and deployed as a single service.

CrowdMonitor lets content providers actively monitor and react to cloud service performance and reliability data. Passive monitors are placed throughout a network and at the end user's location. CrowdMonitor collects continuous streams of logs and analyzes information related to traffic path, speed, downtime, whether or not content is cached, latency times, etc. CrowdDirector effectively acts as a virtual load balancer on a network, enabling enterprises and content owners to manage their services across multiple CDNs, cloud services, and web servers, using a set of simple and articulate rules. These rules, which include feedback from the ‘crowd' or the performance from the actual content delivery, are built from a multitude of parameters such as time, location, networks (ASNs), content types, CDN performance, traffic capacities, pricing and more.

The investment came from Canaan Partners and Storm Ventures.

Continuous Computing Optimizes for LTE EPC and Femtocell Gateway Efficiency

Continuous Computing announced that its Trillium Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) FastPath software has achieved a 10X performance improvement over generic user-space SCTP implementations. Trillium SCTP FastPath leverages the 6WINDGate packet processing software suite from 6WIND and its optimized performance is delivered via the FlexPacket ATCA-PP50 Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) blade from Continuous Computing featuring dual NetLogic Microsystems XLR732 multi-core processors.

Trillium said the choice of SCTP as the IP transport layer for mobile data networks has placed a huge strain on SCTP processing that was not envisioned when the SCTP protocol was defined. Massive growth in smart phone usage is consuming signaling resources and impacting throughput in the signaling plane, while rapid gains in the number of connected devices and base stations limits scalability because each reliable connection requires significant signaling capacity. This strain will be felt in the femtocell market where hundreds of thousands of connected femtocells will be managed by a single Femtocell Gateway (FGW), as well as in the LTE market where the Mobility Management Entity (MME) in the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) will face similar challenges from the multitude of small cell deployments.

Trillium SCTP FastPath software moves SCTP into the native execution environment on the PP50 to yield unprecedented scalability; achieves a 10X improvement over generic user-space implementations of SCTP. This supports over 1 million packets per second and over 60,000 associations of SCTP traffic on just three of the 16 available processing cores of the PP50 blade.

Halstad Selects Calix in Broadband Stimulus Build

Halstad Telephone Company (HTC) selected the Calix Unified Access portfolio to bring 100 Mbps services to thousands of homes and businesses in communities it serves across Minnesota and North Dakota. Halstad will leverage $11.7 million in Broadband Stimulus funds to implement and deploy its network. Plans call for IPTV services, residential and business data services, fiber-fed mobile backhaul services, and VOIP to previously underserved and unserved communities. Calix will supply its E7 Ethernet Service Access Platform (ESAP) for both AE and GPON, optical network terminals (ONTs) terminating both AE and GPON for residential, MDUs and business access, and E5-120 Ethernet Service Platforms for providing VDSL2 and SIP voice services.

Voltaire Adds Virtualized Data Center Mgt to GigE Fabrics

Voltaire introduced new Unified Fabric Manager (UFM) software that orchestrates physical and virtual switches over high-performance Ethernet switching fabrics, thereby delivering guaranteed levels of service per application. By using an application-centric, real-time approach, UFM enables data center operators to monitor and manage the entire fabric, maximize fabric resource utilization and enforce security and isolation policies. The software can identify network congestions and take corrective action before any potential performance degradation occurs ensuring the guaranteed levels of service.

"Voltaire's unique approach to data center networking includes intelligent management and application acceleration software offerings that work in combination with the switched infrastructure to enable extremely high-performance, dynamic data centers," said Asaf Somekh, vice president of marketing, Voltaire. "The new software we're introducing today is optimized for Voltaire's Vantage 10 Gigabit Ethernet switches and also enhances the performance of many third-party 10GbE switching platforms."

Voltaire also introduced Voltaire Messaging Accelerator (VMA) software for Ethernet fabrics. VMA software provides seamless Ethernet IP multicast connectivity, with transport latency (RTT/2) as low as 3.5 microseconds and application-to-application latency as low as 7 microseconds.

Voltaire said its VMA boosts performance of high frequency trading applications, including NYSE Technologies' Data Fabric, 29West LBM, RTI DDS and others developed in-house, cutting latency by as much as 80% and increasing application throughput per server, as compared to applications running on traditional Ethernet interconnect networks. VMA software runs on Voltaire Vantage switches and other industry-standard 10 GbE Ethernet networks and requires no changes to the application.

Crossbeam Systems Signs European Partners

Crossbeam Systems has signed a number of European partners for its next-generation security platforms. These include Corpus Solutions in the Czech Republic, Integralis in the United Kingdom, Pan Dacom in Germany and Unitronics in Spain.


Alcatel-Lucent Unveils "Optism" Mobile Advertising

Alcatel-Lucent is entering the mobile advertising space with a hosted service that matches advertising inventory with targeted mobile audiences. The new Alcatel-Lucent "Optism" solution is designed to help mobile operators rapidly introduce an opt-in program that delivers SMS and MMS ads from leading global brands to specific mobile users.

Alcatel-Lucent will broker relationships between mobile operators and advertisers, greatly simplifying the media selling process for aggregated operator inventory. Its new "Optism" media arm will build commercial relationships with global brands and agencies, creating an ecosystem to facilitate the sale of aggregated media inventory across multiple mobile operators. To create this media agency and hosted advertising platform, Alcatel-Lucent has hired talent from global advertising agencies.

Alcatel-Lucent said its model will use permission-based messaging, where the subscriber specifically enables advertising messages to be sent, most likely in return for a discount, a free download or other incentive.The advertising would be tailored to their specific interests and lifestyles, such as discount offers on products and services. Advertising would come in the form of an SMS or MMS and could be tied into location-based systems, although not necessarily. By sharing this platform across multiple operators and making it available to all devices and mobile operating systems, Alcatel-Lucent believes it can scale to service to reach a huge audience.

Orange Austria is already planning to use this system and Alcatel-Lucent confirmed that other operators are also evaluating.

"Mobile operators have a huge role to play in the growth of mobile advertising," said Thomas Labarthe, Vice President of Mobile Advertising at Alcatel-Lucent. "Our solution unlocks that potential and finally creates a compelling proposition for operators, advertisers and, importantly, subscribers."

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Stoke Configures Portable Offload Lab

Stoke has assembled a Portable Offload Lab to demonstrate the capabilities of its mobile data offload (MDO) solution in 3G environments. The lab, which is a self-contained network of standards-compliant communications equipment, will travel over the next six months to mobile data operators in Japan, Hong Kong, South East Asia, England, Spain, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia, India and the US. Stoke's MDO can be used to offload mobile bits from the mobile core to a less costly data path while improving the user experience. Additionally, its insight and management capabilities enable operators to identify and maintain control of desired traffic types.

Stoke's lab enables recreation of both user and operator experiences using non-offload and offload scenarios, including the insertion and removal of the application in the network without impacting subscriber sessions or requiring changes to existing mobile network elements. The lab incorporates servers, clients, and routers to simulate traffic demand and provide packet transport, with Stoke's SSX-3000 mobile broadband gateway running SMDO.

"Incumbent suppliers' solutions to mobile data overload are cumbersome at best," said Vikash Varma, president and CEO of Stoke, "They require re-engineering of the network and software and potentially hardware upgrades across the mobile data core and into the RAN, costing millions of dollars and countless weeks to deploy. And many of these solutions are yet to be developed. Stoke's Mobile Data Offload solution is a precision offload solution to a data plane capacity challenge. It is simple to deploy, radically improves the economics of the infrastructure and, by enabling greater control and visibility over traffic, creates a platform for the delivery of new service offerings."

Vitesse Debuts 40x40 Crosspoint Switch

Vitesse Semiconductor introduced an asynchronous 40x40-port crosspoint switch optimized for video delivery in high-density professional broadcast routing/switching equipment.

The VSC3340 cross-point switch offers 260 Gbps of aggregate capacity with full support of HDMI, DVI, DisplayPort and SMPTE protocols.

Significantly, it features a Green Mode that dynamically reduces power when not needed by as much as 54% compared to existing solutions. As the broadcast video industry migrates to higher bandwidth protocols and 3 Gbps high definition (3G-SDI) feeds, networks and studio equipment must manage up to thousands of live links while maintaining signal integrity and system performance. Energy consumption is also paramount as channel counts and densities increase in limited areas such as HD production studios and datacenters housing this equipment. Vitesse said the device's energy savings are as low as 95 mW per channel in 3.2 Gbps mode. In this design, only those channels with active signals dissipate power.

In addition, the VSC3340 incorporates Vitesse's FlexEQ adaptive equalization technology, which counters signal degradation over various transmission media types and lengths.

NTT Europe Launches Smart Media Delivery Services

NTT Europe has launched a Smart Media Delivery service that provides optimization, delivery and monetization of multi-platform audio and video content.

NTT Europe's Smart Media Delivery, which is based on Flumotion's multi-format streaming technology, offers a complete suite of tools for each stage of the online media value chain, from signal acquisition for live events, media encoding and multi-format transcoding, live and on-demand streaming and hosting to advertising integration, reporting, pay-per view billing and traffic data analysis.

Flumotion's WebTV technology enables Smart Media Delivery customers to manage the publication, distribution and syndication of video content, including both advertising and subscription-based monetization. The package includes an interactive and highly customizable stand-alone player for a truly enhanced viewing experience.

NTT Europe's Smart Media Delivery services runs across NTT Communications' Tier 1 IP network backbone.

Verizon Launches Sustainability Program

Verizon kicked off a new sustainability program in an effort to find practical and innovative ways to reduce the carbon footprint of its global operations. Some of the initiatives Verizon is launching this year include:

  • Adding 1,600 alternative energy vehicles in the Verizon fleet in 2010.

  • Verizon has teamed up with Motorola to trial eco-friendly set-top boxes for FiOS TV customers in select markets.

  • Kicked off a long-term awareness campaign to educate, encourage and make it easy for Verizon's 220,000 employees to cut energy use, recycle and reuse at work and home. Recent examples include free electronic recycling days, open to the public, at various company locations.

  • Verizon's IT, security, communications and network expertise are helping the utility sector ramp up smart grid deployment. The company's intelligent IP and wireless networks provide an ideal foundation for the smart grid's control and metering functions.

"Customer demand for Verizon's broadband and wireless technology is driving the growth of our high-IQ networks, but we're growing responsibly," said James Gowen, Verizon's chief sustainability officer. "We're partnering with other businesses, suppliers, employees and our customers to dramatically increase the sustainability of our supply chain and operations. This approach positions the company for growth in future markets while creating lasting social value."

Verizon noted that last year its energy reduction and recycling measures reduced the company's CO2 emissions by more than 793 million pounds, approximately the amount of CO2 emitted by 46,700 homes in a year. The company also improved its rate of emissions per million dollars in revenue to 60.2 metric tons of CO2 in 2009, from 64.4 metric tons in 2008.

Among the sustainability steps taken by the company in 2009 was the establishment of a new lab in Columbia, Md., for federal customers interested in Optical LAN services and technology. Passive optical network technology can reduce power consumption by up to 75 percent because it requires no additional regeneration of power for up to 12 miles from a campus data center.

In 2009, Verizon also set new energy efficiency standards for the company's suppliers of network equipment, resulting in saving 91 million kilowatt hours and more than 114 million pounds of CO2 avoidance.

Verizon Conducts National Disaster Recovery Exercise

Verizon is conducting a national disaster recovery exercise at one of its major facilities this week.

The scenario: Two planes - a commercial airliner and a smaller private aircraft -- collide in mid-air over northern Virginia. Debris from the airliner lands on Verizon's large Ashburn campus, only a few miles from the Dulles International Airport, and pieces from the smaller plane fall into a nearby Verizon network field operation garage where several company vehicles are parked. Immediately, a call will be placed to Verizon's Business Continuance and Emergency Management team, which will activate Verizon's National Emergency Coordination Center, and the disaster recovery exercise will be under way.

"No matter what type of catastrophic event occurs, we must be prepared to facilitate immediate recovery so we can continue serving our enterprise, government and consumer customers even in the most difficult conditions," said Dick Price, Verizon wireline chief business continuance officer. "One of the best ways we can test our emergency response procedures and skills is during training exercises. Training also helps us improve our response time."http://verizon.comhttp://

Spirent Validates Carrier Ethernet Interconnects in Europe

Spirent Communications exclusively powered the testing of the Carrier Ethernet Global Interconnect demonstration conducted by EANTC and co-organized by ancotel to validate Carrier Ethernet service interoperability across eight European service providers including Belgacom ICS, Equinix, Expereo International, Level3 Communications, P&TLuxembourg, Teragate, Tinet, and Ucomline.

Specifically, EANTC used Spirent TestCenter to showcase Carrier Ethernet service interoperability across eight service providers and demonstrate that the MEF's External Network-to-Network Interface (ENNI) specification and multi-provider Class of Service (CoS) implementation options are ready for prime time deployment.

"The Global Interconnect Demonstration is central to advancing the successful implementation of Carrier Ethernet interconnects in service provider networks," said Carsten Rossenhövel, managing director of EANTC AG. "By working with Spirent, a leader in testing Ethernet technologies, we were able to evaluate key ENNI functionality aspects as well as SLA support through Class of Service mapping."

Equinix Launches Carrier Ethernet Exchange

Equinix has officially rolled out its new multi-carrier environment for the exchange of data traffic between providers of Ethernet services. The Equinix Carrier Ethernet Exchange enables carriers to translate between different carrier Ethernet offerings to ensure transparent service by providing an interconnection technical specification. The service complies with Metro Ethernet Forum standards.

The Equinix Carrier Ethernet Exchange, which was first announced in October 2009 as a service development program, bridges Ethernet connectivity between 24 participants, including AboveNet, BroadbandONE, Easynet Global Services, euNetworks, Exponential-e, Hibernia Atlantic, RCN Metro Optical Networks, Internet Solutions, KPN International, Level 3 Communications, PacketExchange, PCCW Global, Reliance Globalcom, SSE Telecoms, TeraGate AG, Tinet and Virgin Media Business.

The service is rolling out to five metros including the Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley, Chicago and London metro regions, and is expected to expand to 14 other metro regions throughout the next year.

During the development phase, Equinix conducted more than 200 unique tests across seven different regions with 24 program participants, demonstrating the efficacy of the testing program and the long-term commercial viability of the service.

In addition to the technical platform, Equinix provides access to an ecosystem of potential content and technical partners.

"This launch is an important milestone for Equinix and for the Ethernet services industry in general," said Jarrett Appleby, CMO, Equinix. "While the Ethernet market has been growing at a breakneck pace, the full potential has yet to be realized because carriers have been limited to the geographic areas where their networks are deployed. Our offering immediately removes that fundamental barrier, enabling carriers to deliver consistent, scalable Ethernet services across multiple borders around the world simultaneously."
  • In October 2009, Equinix confirmed that its Carrier Ethernet Exchange platform would use Alcatel-Lucent's service router portfolio. At the time, the companies said the Carrier Ethernet Exchange platform would enable multi-provider interconnection based on Metro Ethernet Forum standards. The partners were also reviewing a variety of solutions including Ethernet Network to Network Interconnection (NNI) and additional services that leverage the density and breadth of networks operating within Equinix's centers.

ABI: Verizon Wireless, Sprint Outpace AT&T in Mobile Data Volume

In 2009, Verizon Wireless and Sprint each carried more mobile data traffic than AT&T, according to ABI Research. Verizon Wireless carried the most, followed by Sprint. Customers of these two operators generated 63% of the US market's mobile network data traffic.

Although AT&T had the most activated data devices in 2009, its two rivals served more mobile data card users. Laptop users with 3G data card consume far more bandwidth than handset users.

ABI Research predicts that Verizon will maintain the top data traffic position over the next five years. AT&T's share of mobile data traffic will increase and by 2012 AT&T will take the number two position. The final three spots for top mobile data traffic levels will be held by Sprint, T-Mobile and then all other operators. However, even though operator traffic distribution share will change, nearly all operators will see mobile data traffic levels increase eightfold from 2010 through 2014, according to the company.

Metaswitch Enables MPLS-TP Control Planes

Metaswitch Networks introduced a portable software solution for MPLS Transport Profile (MPLS-TP) control planes in next-gen networking equipment.

MPLS-TP has been developed to provide the same QoS, protection and restoration, and OAM that is inherent in SONET/SDH and in a way that has a familiar look and feel for network operators.

Metaswitch's DC-MPLS network protocol software provides the foundation for MPLS-TP, including features such as static and dynamic Ethernet pseudowires, pseudowire redundancy and end-to-end-recovery, plus GMPLS signaling for use as an MPLS-TP control plane. The company said system vendors can begin to roll out MPLS-TP control plane with a simple upgrade to its DC-MPLS protocol solution.

"DC-MPLS is widely deployed and has demonstrated proven interoperability and scalability in the field," said Jon Berger, Director of MPLS Product Development in Metaswitch's Network Protocols Division. "We are closely involved in the MPLS-TP standards process within the IETF and our DC-MPLS GMPLS implementation already supports the necessary features for an MPLS-TP capable control plane. We are adding further enhancements to meet evolving MPLS-TP standards, to allow our customers to deliver MPLS-TP capable devices at the earliest opportunity."http://www.metaswitch.comhttp://