Monday, May 10, 2010

Apollo and Alcatel-Lucent Carry 3 Tbps over Trans-Atlantic Cable

Apollo Submarine Cable System, in partnership with Alcatel-Lucent, has successfully transmitted approximately 3 Tbps of data using 40 Gbps channels over a fiber pair across the north Atlantic.

The test was performed over Apollo's north cable system linking the US and the UK, a distance of 6,221 km, and almost quadrupled the original design capacity of the system (72 channels at 40 Gbps, all error-free).

Specifically, the Alcatel-Lucent 1620 Light Manager submarine line terminal used a phase shift keying (PSK)-based modulation format with next-generation coherent detection, over fully loaded with 72 working 40 Gbps channels.
The signal processing associated with coherent technology deal with the transmission impairments in the fiber in an automated manner and also allows performance tuning through the life of the system.

"Capacity upgrades of submarine networks using existing fiber are critical for operators as existing networks near full capacity and as terrestrial networks start supporting 40 Gbps. These two factors drive the need to increase the capacity of submarine networks, seamlessly handing-off traffic to keep the highest level of efficiency end-to-end," said Richard Elliott, Managing Director of Apollo.
  • The Apollo Submarine Cable System provides two diverse paths connecting London to New York City and Paris to Washington D.C.

  • Apollo Submarine Cable System Limited is owned by Cable & Wireless and Alcatel-Lucent.

NSN: HSPA/LTE Costs Can Be Below EUR3 per GB per Month

Even without voice services, mobile broadband operators can keep their monthly capital and operating expenditure to EUR 3 per subscriber and profitably provide up to 5 GB of data per month for every subscriber, according to a new techno-economic study published by Nokia Siemens Networks. The study examines the costs and opportunities of using HSPA and LTE radio technology in existing sites and by using spectrum on multiple frequency bands.

Nokia Siemens Networks also found that the higher the mobile broadband penetration, the lower the cost of delivering a gigabyte of data per subscriber.

"While the data boom is finally upon us, the viability of the business has eluded most -- operators have become increasingly preoccupied with the associated high costs of data delivery versus the lag in expected revenues," said Marc Rouanne, head of Network Systems, Nokia Siemens Networks. "Our study proves that success in mobile broadband can deliver efficiencies -- radio access networks can enable sustainable, cost-efficient broadband offerings to subscribers by leveraging existing base station sites to their fullest capacity."

The NSN study makes a number of assumptions. First, traffic is never equally distributed between sites -- typically during a busy hour 50% of the traffic is carried by 15% of the cells -- the majority of cells remain underutilized. Adding more users can in effect lead to a more equal traffic distribution between sites and a more profitable use of available capacity.

Further, since traffic distribution is not equal between subscribers -- 20% of the subscribers take more than 80% of the bandwidth -- network efficiency can be greatly improved by balancing the traffic. For example, radio capacity can be boosted by deploying additional macro sites in hot spots, using 6-sector configurations, applying QoS differentiation, and by offloading traffic in highly populated areas.

The study observes that CAPEX + OPEX per subscriber are relatively high when the subscriber density is low. Similarly, the cost of delivering a GB of data is highly dependent on the network utilization. If total data use is high, either due to a high number of subscribers or to high use per subscriber, the cost per GB can be below EUR1.

The study finds that operating expenditure (OPEX) as the main component in an operator's cost base and that the largest contributors to OPEX are backhaul transport, site rental, network maintenance and electricity. Costs not considered in the calculations include customer acquisition and marketing.

"The key to maximizing profit from the network will depend upon the accuracy of upgrading capacity of the existing HSPA network vis-à-vis deploying a LTE network," added Tommi Uitto, head of Network Systems product management, Nokia Siemens Networks. "Our Flexi Multiradio Base Station with software-based evolution will allow operators to efficiently and simultaneously build high capacity on multiple bands with GSM, HSPA and LTE radio access technology, proving to be a huge differentiator and success factor."

Comcast Media Center Introduces Fiber-Based Content Distribution

HITS, a business unit of the Comcast Media Center, introduced a national terrestrial fiber distribution service for delivering video programming to cable MSOs. The service features conditional access from Verimatrix and video processing and delivery powered by Harmonic. It uses the Comcast network to deliver video content to cable affiliates. The HITS fiber-based service is positioned either as a primary delivery vehicle of video content or as a redundant, backup path for satellite-delivered programming in the event of satellite interruptions.

Motorola Boosts Power Efficiency of its CMTS

Motorola has enhanced its long-running BSR 64000 Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) with new power efficiency capabilities that provide a more than three-fold decrease in wattage required per port. This makes the Motorola BSR 64000 the most power efficient I-CMTS on the market on a per-DOCSIS-channel basis, according to the company. Motorola also calculates that the high-density of ports on its I-CMTS chassis, gives it the lowest I-CMTS power performance rating (kilowatt-per-hour to DOCSIS channel ratio) in the industry.

The Motorola BSR 64000 supports the widely-deployed TX32 Decoupled Downstream and new Motorola RX48 Decoupled Upstream modules. The RX48 module provides the per channel power reduction of 81 percent compared to previous modules. The RX48 module, offering nearly 1.5 Gbps of capacity, will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

"Density and power performance are critical to our cable operator customers," said Joe Cozzolino, senior vice president and general manager, Motorola Mobile Devices and Home. "With the Motorola CMTS solution, we are helping operators manage physical space constraints and lower operational costs coming from the need to power and cool racks of hardware. It's a fully scalable solution, and it's designed as a cost-effective means for meeting growing consumer demand for advanced broadband and evolving video over IP services."

BelAir Pushes Wi-Fi Policy Enforcement to the Access Point

BelAir Networks introduced a Policy Enforcement Point (PEP) module that integrates directly with a carrier's edge (routing and tunneling) and core (policy management) systems. The BelAirOS PEP embeds policy enforcement, traditionally an edge-based function, into any BelAir Networks Access Point (AP). The BelAirOS PEP complements the BelAirOS Carrier Security Module (CSM), which enables network security and access control to be enforced on any BelAir Networks AP.

BelAirOS PEP supports:

  • Core-to-customer QoS: Application and customer specific parameters can be supported right to the end user, enabling differentiated service levels for voice, video and multimedia traffic

  • Local offload: Basic data services are offloaded locally, reducing edge network traffic and resource requirements

  • Dynamic tunnel creation: Traffic qualifying for network-wide mobility, premium service levels, and legal intercept are identified at the AP and tunneled to the carrier edge

  • Multi-carrier virtual networks: Enables resource sharing among multiple service providers while integrating with each of their policy management systems

"For our Tier 1 service providers, Wi-Fi is not just a series of disparate hotspots, operated and managed apart from their other wireless or wireline networks. Wi-Fi is an extension of their carrier network infrastructure," said Stephen Rayment, CTO, BelAir Networks. "By bringing policy enforcement intelligence to our Wi-Fi access points, BelAir Networks gives cable operators and mobile carriers the power to deliver a broader range of customer services while using fewer network resources."

BelAir Delivers Better Wi-Fi in Stadiums and Crowded Sites

BelAir Networks introduced an improved solution for delivering Wi-Fi in crowded stadiums, concerts, fairs and other locations with very high user density. The BelAirOS Very High Capacity and Interference (VHCI) solution, which is engineered for 10x the wireless density of a typical enterprise, encompasses Wi-Fi access point (AP) software, monitoring and management features, and network planning guidelines.

The company said its BelAirOS VHCI delivers high Wi-Fi throughput while minimizing interference and its effects by:

  • Controlling the size of the cell

  • Controlling self-interference

  • Minimizing packet collisions in the air

  • Automating and adapting settings to the real time system needs

  • Providing real time visibility in the network performance.

The VHCI module includes adaptive cell size control, modulation control, AP load balancing and monitoring features. The module, which can be used with any BelAir Networks indoor or outdoor APs, also incorporates easy to follow planning rules for both fixed installations and rapid temporary installs. It has been field-proven in venue crowds of up to 75,000 people per day.

Comcast Increases On Demand Movie Library

Comcast is adding nearly 9,000 movie titles to its On Demand library -- giving it more than 11,000 total movie choices for customers monthly, with 3,000 available in HD. The expanded movie offering brings the total number of Comcast On Demand choices to more than 25,000.

The new movie content will begin launching in Comcast's Xfinity markets in Philadelphia and Washington, DC, and will continue rolling out to Comcast Digital Cable customers across the country. This is made possible by a new content storage and distribution system via Comcast's fiber network.

Hitachi Moves Forward with 10GEPON, 10G DOCSIS PON

Hitachi Communication Technologies America introduced 10GEPON and 10G DePON Optical Network Units and Line cards for its Salira product line. The new offerings, which are aimed at North American cable operators, support business access over fiber infrastructure.

Hitachi said it expects 10G-DePON will become the primary technology for cable operators building new high bandwidth access networks because of the combination of high bandwidth, lower cost of PON, and service control that retains an MSO's existing DOCSIS management systems.

Hitachi has been active in integrating DOCSIS management with the IEEE GEPON physical layer. The IEEE 802.3av standard supports symmetrical 10Gbps transmission or 10Gbps downstream and 1Gbps upstream. The wavelengths used in 10GEPON are allocated with the goal of ensuring coexistence with existing GEPON and RF video to enable support for symmetric 10Gbps ONUs, asymmetric 10Gbps/1Gbps ONUs, and symmetric 1Gbps ONUs, as well as radio frequency (RF) video overlay on the same optical distribution network.

Hitachi said it also is a contributor to the IEEE 10GEPON standard and has a leading role in SIEPON and other standards efforts aimed at integrating DOCSIS and EPON as well as creating interoperability of EPON equipment.

Tellabs Hires Nortel China's President of Carrier Sales

Tellabs named Dr. Chenhong Huang as vice president for Tellabs in China. Most recently he has been Nortel China's President of Carrier Sales, responsible for both the wireless and wireline carrier business in China. In previous Nortel roles, Chenhong has held various leadership positions in sales, marketing and technology. He started his Nortel career in Richardson, Texas, where he was responsible for wireless systems engineering and 3G standards and development.

FCC to Address Bill Shock

The FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) kicked off an initiative on "bill shock" -- seeking input on ways to alert consumers about potential high charges for mobile service.

In the European Union, carriers are required by law to send text messages to consumers when they are running up roaming charges or getting close to a set limit for data roaming. The FCC is now considering whether the same practice should be enforced in the U.S.

Texas-New Mexico Power Deploys Exalt Microwave Backhaul

Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP), a community-based electrical power generation and distribution company serving more than 216,000 subscribers in Texas and 490,000 subscribers in New Mexico, has deployed Exalt Communications' microwave systems to upgrade its legacy analog microwave network to handle Ethernet as well as T1 traffic. The utility company is using Exalt all-indoor microwave backhaul systems operating in the 2.4 and 6 GHz frequency bands. Each are configured to carry four T1 lines, as well as 10 and 30 Mbps of Ethernet, respectively. The network, which runs along the Texas gulf coast south of Houston, carries traffic from power distribution and generation plants back to the regional network operations center in Lake City. The network carries SCADA, protective relaying, two-way radio, IP telephony, and TDM traffic. The telecommunications and IT engineering firm Lockard & White assisted TNMP with the design, equipment selection and implementation of the new systems.

Exalt microwave backhaul systems offer guaranteed link availability, guaranteed throughput and low, constant latency. Systems are available in world bands from 2 to 40 GHz and in capacities from 10 Mbps to more than 1000 Mbps per channel, providing a range of options to fit countless network applications. They offer native support for both TDM and Ethernet, and are fully software configurable and upgradeable.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Aruba Acquires Azalea Networks for Outdoor Mesh Networking

Aruba Networks will acquire Azalea Networks, a supplier of outdoor mesh networks based in China, for approximately $27 million in stock subject to certain adjustments and up to $13,500,000 in cash over two years.

Azalea Networks specializes in Wi-Fi mesh networks for outdoor industrial applications, such as the oil and gas, logistics, manufacturing, mining, petrochemical, public safety, smart grid, and transportation sectors. Its mesh technology allows it to also carry latency-sensitive video and voice traffic, with full fidelity, over long distances. The company's wireless systems were used during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, in which 600 mesh nodes provided voice, video, and Wi-Fi access over 19 square miles (50 square kilometers) of the city.

The acquisition includes an operations center in Beijing, staffed by world-class engineers, which will complement Aruba's existing R&D centers in Bangalore and Silicon Valley. To date Azalea has shipped over 25,000 mesh nodes worldwide.

Aruba said the acquisition extends its solution set to outdoor networks, gives it new sales channels in China and elsewhere, and enhances its engineering capabilities.

"This acquisition brings our customers and prospects innovative new solutions for real-time outdoor applications like video surveillance," said Hitesh Sheth, Aruba's Chief Operating Officer.

Infonetics: Rapid Uptake in 10G, 40G, 100G IP Ports

Spending on 40G ports on IP edge routers increased 125% despite the market's weak overall conditions last year, according to Infonetics Research's first edition of its 2010 biannual 10G/40G/100G Networking Ports report. A similar trend is playing out in other routing and switching segments and in the optical network hardware space.

Infonetics believes this spending reflects an urgency amongst service providers to handle skyrocketing traffic.

Some highlights of the Infonetics report:

  • Uptake in high-speed (10G, 40G, and soon 100G) optical and Ethernet ports on enterprise and service provider equipment continues unabated, even in the face of global economic difficulties, driven by unrelenting network traffic increases

  • Annual port shipments of 10G and 40G enterprise and service provider ports jumped 38% in 2009

  • Worldwide revenue from 10G and 40G ports on enterprise and service provider equipment totaled $11.1 billion in 2009

  • The number of 40G ports shipped on enterprise and service provider equipment doubled in 2009

  • Strong growth in the high-speed port market is forecast by Infonetics to continue, with 10G, 40G, and 100G port shipments together increasing 10-fold from 2009 to 2014

Motorola Supplies DOCSIS 3.0 CMTS in Taiwan

Taiwan Broadband Communications (TBC), a leading multi-system cable operator in Taiwan, is deploying Motorola's DOCSIS 3.0-qualified integrated Cable Modem Termination System (I-CMTS). The new contract follows Taiwan Broadband's first deployment of Motorola's I-CMTS last year. TBC plans to deliver ultra-broadband Internet access services to subscribers at 100Mbps and above.

The contract includes the deployment of Motorola's BSR 64000 I-CMTS/Edge Routing platform which includes high-density integrated downstream capability, the TX32 Decoupled Downstream Module. It also supports load sharing across existing downstream modules and system redundancy, which ensures stable and reliable broadband and VoIP services over TBC's large-scale, high-speed network. The deployment is expected to be completed in Q4 2010.

AppliedMicro Readies New Energy-Efficient Processors for Consumer Devices

AppliedMicro introduced a new line energy-efficient embedded processors for consumer devices ranging from gateways, control panels and energy meters to network attached storage systems, Wi-Fi access points, IP phones, residential gateways, etc. The AppliedMicro APM8018x family supports CPU frequencies up to 800 MHz. High-speed interfaces include PCIe, SATA, GigE, SDIO, TDM and USB 2.0. Estimated performance is 912 Dhrystone MIPS and typical power consumption is 0.3 Watts in standby mode, and up to 1.5 Watts at 600 MHz.

The AppliedMicro APM8018x family will come in three variants: 8018x-400, the 8018x-600, and 8018x-800 and will be available in two different packages in 10x10-mm BGA and 14x14-mm BGA. Samples of the processor are expected in June 2010 and full production quantities are scheduled for the third quarter. Pricing is under $10 for 10,000-unit quantities.

Infineta Unveils Massively Parallel Data Reduction at 10 Gbps

Infineta, a start-up based in San Jose, California, unveiled a unique, massively parallel data reduction technology that operates at up to 10 Gbps, enabling hardware-based data reduction in data center-to-data center traffic.

Infineta implements its "Velocity Dedupe Engine" in programmable logic, providing high throughput while incurring extremely low latencies and maintaining very high data reduction efficiency. The system achieves 5x or more data reduction on high-speed network traffic. Distributed processing is performed using specialized components, each dedicated to performing essential pipelined functions that execute millions of packet processing decisions simultaneously. Infineta's massively parallel design also provides non-sequential packet analysis combined with multi-stage redundancy removal.

In addition to data center back-up traffic, Infineta's dedupe can also be applied to virtualized data center-to-data center traffic, including VMware environments.

The company also announced that it has closed a $15 million Series A round of venture capital funding with backing from Alloy Ventures and North Bridge Venture Partners.
  • Infineta was co-founded by Raj Kanaya (CEO) and Dr. K.V.S. Ramarao (CTO). Kanaya previously was VP of product strategy and alliances for the Application Networking Group at Citrix Systems. He joined Citrix though its acquisition of NetScaler where he served as VP of product management. Dr. Ramarao previously served as Chief Platform Architect for the Application Oriented Networking BU at Cisco Systems. Before that, he was founder and CTO of both Conformative Systems (acquired by Intel) and Sariga Networks.

Ciena Adopts 40G Coherent Technology from Nortel

Ciena has integrated native 40G coherent and Adaptive Optical Engine technology into a new module for its CN 4200 RS FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform. Ciena said it is the first vendor to commercialize this technology, underscoring its commitment to adopt technology from the recently acquired Nortel Metro Ethernet Networks assets. Ciena's global footprint of CN 4200 customers includes numerous network operators for metro and regional infrastructures, managed service providers as well as government and enterprise users.

The module's advanced signal processing technologies includes Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (DP QPSK) modulation, coherent detection and electronic dispersion compensation. This allows 40 Gbps transmission even over impaired fiber that cannot be used for 10Gbps without the need for separate optical Chromatic Dispersion (CD) and Polarization Mode Dispersion (PMD) compensators. With an in-service upgrade, existing CN 4200 customers can obtain a four-fold increase in capacity with existing ROADM schemes, enhancing equipment scalability and avoiding network re-design.

Ciena is also integrating its 40G/100G Adaptive Optical Engine technology into a new FlexSelect Optical Shelf for the CoreStream Agility Optical Transport System as a value-added solution for the installed base. This new feature provides existing CoreStream customers -- which include numerous Tier 1 global network operators -- with the option to offer fully-managed, end-to-end 40G/100G wavelengths on their network across 10G-engineered links, allowing seamless and cost-efficient capacity upgrades in support of surging traffic demands on core networks while maintaining signal reach and performance.

The 40G coherent upgrade offering on CN 4200 and related network management functionality enhancements are expected in the second half of calendar 2010. The optical integration of 40G coherent capabilities on CoreStream is already complete, and the full solution entered into lab and field trials this month.

Nortel Develops New SIP Engine for Communication Server 2000

Nortel Carrier VoIP and Application Solutions (CVAS) unveiled a new centralized SIP engine capability to its Communication Server 2000 (CS 2000) carrier VoIP and multimedia softswitch and Adaptive Application Engine.

The new centralized SIP engine allows service providers to deliver SIP services and applications to subscribers, including services such as unified communications (UC), web-based UC collaboration, video and multimedia conferencing, hosted call center and other services that improve the way people communicate and conduct business.

Nortel said competitive standalone application servers can only serve SIP subscribers without support for legacy lines/trunks or services interworking, while its new engine delivers SIP and non SIP communication capabilities across the entire network using one Adaptive Application Engine. The new capability can be deployed at a single CS 2000 node to extend SIP services to additional CS 2000 nodes in a service provider's network. The capability also offers full interworking with legacy lines which means that any SIP device can seamlessly interwork with legacy services.

The enhancements are expected to be available in the second half of 2010 and are supported by the latest release of Nortel CVAS' CS 2000 IP Multimedia softswitch and Adaptive Application Engine software (CVM release 15/A2E8.0).

MRV Posts Q1 Revenue of $109 Million

MRV Communications reported Q1 2010 revenue of $109.1 million, compared with revenue of $124.4 million in the preceding quarter and $103.6 million in the first quarter of the prior year. The sequential decline in revenue is due primarily to normal seasonality. First quarter 2010 gross margin was 36 percent, compared with 33 percent in the prior quarter and 20 percent reported in the first quarter of 2009.
Net income from continuing operations attributed to MRV stockholders of $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2010, or $0.02 per diluted share, which included share-based compensation charges of $0.4 million, and depreciation and amortization of $2.4 million.

The Network Equipment group reported revenue of $30.0 million, compared with $29.7 million in the prior quarter and $24.9 million in the first quarter of 2009.

The Network Integration group reported revenue of $32.7 million, compared with $41.2 million in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010, and $33.1 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2009.

The Optical Components group, consisting primarily of Source Photonics, Inc., reported revenue of $49.5 million in the first quarter 2010, compared with $56.6 million in the prior quarter and $48.1 million in the first quarter of 2009.

U.S. Cellular Appoints Mary N. Dillon as CEO

U.S. Cellular has appointed Mary N. Dillon as president and chief executive officer (CEO), replacing retiring president and CEO John E. Rooney, and will join the U.S. Cellular board. Dillon, 48, joins U.S. Cellular from McDonald's Corporation, where she was global chief marketing officer and executive vice president, with responsibility for worldwide marketing efforts and global brand strategy.