Thursday, June 3, 2010

Finland's Elisa Tests LTE with NSN with 100 Mbps Downlink

Elisa, a leading Finnish communications service provider, is testing an LTE network in partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN). Elisa's pre-commercial network operates in a small area in Helsinki. The companies report mobile connections of up to 100 Mbps.

NSN notes that Elisa continues to invest in the coverage and speed of its 3G network to match the growth in the use of mobile broadband. According to a recent survey Elisa's 3G network has the widest coverage in Finland and it offers the highest data rates. The current development will enable the use of high-speed video services with mobile devices in the future. In addition, easy real-time use of the Internet with the phone will substantially improve the user experience of the customers.

"Elisa's 4G network and cooperation with Nokia Siemens Networks enable the development of new services utilizing higher data rates. Services will be available to the public when the availability of LTE terminal devices increases. Our investment in both the current 3G network and preparation for the new technology benefit our customers most. At the moment, the mobile broadband services in our 3G network cover a very large geographic area, even at speeds of 15 Mbps," says Timo Katajisto, Executive Vice President, Production, at Elisa.

Tiscali Joins 2010: Fibre for Italy Project

Tiscali has joined the "2010: Fiber for Italy" project, which was proposed recently by Fastweb, Vodafone and Wind with the aim of providing Italy with a single next generation optical fibre network infrastructure.

Tiscali joins the three operators promoting the project, in asking the Government and the Institutions to start the process for creating company to manage the fibre-optic network with the contribution of all telecom operators and Authorities.

As part of the plan, Tiscali is taking part in a fiber trial for the district of Collina Fleming in Rome.

ITU World Telecom Dev Conference Outlines 4 Year Plan

The fifth ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference, meeting in Hyderabad, India, outlined a road map to foster the global development of information and communication technology (ICT) networks and services over the next four year cycle.

The Hyderabad Declaration states: "Broad access to telecommunications and ICTs is essential for the world's collective economic, social and cultural development, and the building of a global Information Society. This access brings new opportunities for interaction amongst people, for sharing of the world's knowledge resources and expertise, for transforming people's lives, and for contributing to the global development agenda."

The fifth World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-10) attracted 924 participants, including 758 government delegates from 138 countries and 6 representatives from Palestine; 88 public and private sector representatives from 28 companies; 16 representing telecommunication-related entities from 7 countries; and 56 representatives from 25 regional and international organizations.

Key topics of the Hyderabad Action Plan include:

  • 1. Information and communication infrastructure and technology development

  • 2. Cybersecurity, ICT applications and IP-based network-related issues

  • 3. Enabling environment

  • 4. Capacity-building and digital inclusion

  • 5. Least developed countries, countries in special need, emergency telecommunications and adaptation to climate change

"Mobile telephony has grown phenomenally, and as we approach the 5 billion mark for mobile subscriptions later this year, it is considered to be the most rapidly adopted technology in history," ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré said as he addressed the closing session of WTDC-10. "Yet, the digital divide remains -- particularly where accessibility to broadband services and the Internet is concerned. This broadband divide must be addressed by governments and industry as a priority if we are to fully utilize the capacity of ICTs to meet the Millennium Development Goals."

France Telecom and TDC terminate Merger Agreement

France Telecom and TDC terminated their merger agreement. The announcement follows a decision by the Swiss Competition Commission on April 22, 2010 to prohibit the combination of Orange Switzerland and Sunrise Communications, which is the local operation of TDC. The companies will drop an appeal that they had filed with the Federal Administrative Court in Switzerland.

Verizon Expands its Fleet of Hybrid Vehicles

As part of the greening of its fleet, Verizon has purchased 576 Chevrolet Silverado Two-Mode Hybrid full-size pickups. The two-mode Silverado blends an internal combustion engine with battery-powered electric motors to offer an EPA estimated 21 MPG city and 22 MPG highway fuel economy.

"A major part of our sustainability strategy is to make smart use of lower-carbon alternatives to power our fleet and the operation of our high-IQ broadband networks," said James Gowen, chief sustainability officer for Verizon. "By adding 1,600 alternative energy vehicles to our fleet this year we're conserving fuel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality in communities across the country."

NASA and Japan Announce Cloud Computing Collaboration

NASA and Japan's National Institute of Informatics (NII) are exploring interoperability opportunities between NASA's Nebula Cloud Computing Platform and Japan's NII Cloud Computing Platform. In a first demonstration, the Nebula and NII Cloud infrastructures jointly served publicly-available selections of Mars Orbiter data sets to a web application.

NASA Nebula is a Cloud Computing service developed by the agency's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, that provides high performance computing, network, and data storage services to NASA scientists and researchers. Nebula allows NASA to share and process large scientific data sets and was one of three flagship projects highlighted in NASA's Open Government Directive.

Japan's NII Cloud provides cloud platform services to Japan's academic and research community. Like Nebula, the NII cloud is developed using open source technologies. By focusing on partnerships and other joint efforts with universities and research institutions throughout Japan, as well as industries and civilian organizations, NII creates state-of-the-art information infrastructure to support education within Japan's broader academic and research community.

150 Mbps Residential Service Comes to Chattanooga

EPB Fiber Optics, Chattanooga's municipally-owned fiber-to-the-home network,
is introducing a 150 Mbps symmetrical residential Internet service. The municipal operator has previously provided a 100 Mbps services over its fiber network. EPB expects access to the 100 percent fiber optic network will be available to everyone in its service area by the end of 2010. EPB's service area covers 170,000 homes and business and 600 square miles in Chattanooga, Hamilton County and parts of five other counties in Southeast Tennessee and three in North Georgia.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sandvine Cites Customer Traction, Including a Top Ten U.S. MSO

Sandvine has won nine new service provider customers. Six of the customers are fixed line service providers and three are mobile network operators. Four of Sandvine's new service provider customers are based in North America, including one of the top ten cable operators in the United States and a North American tier-one DSL service provider with more than one million broadband subscribers. Three of the new customers come from the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) sales region, and one each from Caribbean and Latin America and Asia Pacific.

Two of Sandvine's new customers were won through strategic reseller partnerships with network equipment manufacturers.

Sandvine's network policy control solutions focus on protecting and improving the quality of experience on the Internet.

Ericsson Builds Optical Transport in Costa Rica

Ericsson has signed a five-year contract with cable television operator CableTica to build and operate an optical transport network in Costa Rica specifically optimized to handle the needs of next-generation mobile networks.
Ericsson will also manage the new network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The new, state-of-the-art optical network is based on Ericsson's MHL 3000 and OMS 1400 optical platforms. The network will enable CableTica to transport any kind of data -- including television, internet and mobile backhaul -- and also allow for future implementation of IPTV services. Further, CableTica will be able to offer services -- such as digital television, video-on-demand and data services -- in more areas of Costa Rica.

The deal, signaling the opening of Costa Rica's telecommunications market, is Ericsson's first cable television deal in Central America and Caribbean. CableTica is expected to launch the new service shortly.

AT&T Authorized to Offer Managed Trusted IP Services to Govt

The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has issued an Authority to Operate (ATO) to AT&T for implementation of Managed Trusted IP Services (MTIPS) under the Networx contract. AT&T is the first network operator to receive this authority. AT&T Government Solutions has disclosed MTIPS task orders with the Federal Trade Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Networx is a contract vehicle that allows AT&T to provide a full range of communications services to federal government agencies.

MTIPS is an offering under the Networx Universal and Enterprise contracts that allows federal agencies to connect to the Internet via secure IP portals in full compliance with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative.

"AT&T's cloud based approach to cybersecurity is the foundation for MTIPS," said Ed Amoroso, Chief Security Officer, AT&T. "We use the cloud to proactively detect and diffuse security threats at the 'street corner' as opposed to the 'front door' of a federal agency -- thereby minimizing the risk of a cyber attack. With AT&T's MTIPS solution, we can help agencies protect their network with the advance notice necessary to counter the threats."

Telx Launches Carrier Ethernet Exchange

Telx, which operates 15 carrier-grade interconnection, colocation and business exchange facilities across the U.S., is launching an Ethernet Exchange to bring together buyers and sellers of Ethernet services.

The Telx Ethernet Exchange platform is powered by the Cisco ASR 9000 router and Cisco Active Network Abstraction network management software. It will become available in seven strategic interconnection data centers over the next nine months with initial customers being part of a charter program in the third quarter of 2010. Service providers and enterprises will also receive professional consultation services to help ensure full Ethernet interoperability.

An automated customer portal allows users to establish new virtual connections in minutes and leverage robust reporting, which allows customers to see inventory and metrics to help run their business.

"The Telx Ethernet Exchange is a direct response to the needs within our Global Marketplace of customers, who have been limited to offering and supporting Ethernet services in markets where they have services deployed," said Eric Shepcaro, CEO of Telx. "Telx can now facilitate customers extending their Ethernet network reach, and being powered by the Cisco platform ensures we will provide a high-performance and feature-rich service to meet their needs."

In addition, Telx is partnering with Neutral Tandem, which provides tandem interconnection services to wireless, wireline, cable and broadband telephony companies, for its new Telx Ethernet Exchange. Neutral Tandem and Telx plan to connect their key Ethernet Exchange sites, helping customers to seamlessly interconnect their networks without complex, time consuming interconnection agreements, providing greater reach to their end customers. As such, Telx's Global Marketplace of service provider customers will be able to extend their geographic service regions by tapping directly into Telx's seven Ethernet Exchange locations as well as Neutral Tandem's planned 14 Ethernet eXchange locations nationwide.
  • Neutral Tandem recently announced plans to launch 14 Ethernet eXchanges at the following locations: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Silicon Vendors Form Linaro to Promote Linux Devices

Leading siicon vendors, including ARM, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments, have formed a not-for-profit open source software engineering company called "Linaro" to promote open source innovation for the next wave of always-connected, always-on computing. Linaro's mission is to significantly simplify the process of bringing Linux-based consumer devices to market.

The founders said Linaro was formed "to increase investment in open source, address the challenges in developing products for sophisticated consumer markets and provide the support of a broad array of semiconductor products from multiple companies." By providing the common foundations of tools and software for other distributions and stacks to build upon, Linaro will enable greater operational efficiency for the electronics industry. The goal is to accelerate the abundance of new consumer products that use Linux-based distributions such as Android, LiMo, MeeGo, Ubuntu and webOS in conjunction with advanced semiconductor SoCs to provide the new features consumers desire at the lowest possible power consumption.

"The dramatic growth of open source software development can now be seen in internet-based, always-connected mobile and consumer products," said Tom Lantzsch, executive officer, Linaro. "Linaro will help accelerate this trend further by increasing investment on key open source projects and providing industry alignment with the community to deliver the best Linux-based products for the benefit of the consumer."

The company's first release is planned for November 2010 and will provide performance optimizations for SoCs based on the ARM Cortex™-A processor family.

In addition to ARM and IBM, four of the world's leading application processor companies, Freescale, Samsung, ST-Ericsson and Texas Instruments, will align open source engineering efforts within Linaro.

Nokia Siemens Networks Integrates TD-LTE into Mobile Portfolio

Nokia Siemens Networks is now including TD-LTE within its mobile portfolio of base stations and core networks. The company also showcased the industry's first concurrent TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE demo.

The co-existence of the two technologies is a significant step towards facilitating operators' transition to TD-LTE and was conducted on Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio Base Station.
Specifically, Nokia Siemens Networks' Single RAN solution supports LTE in the paired and unpaired spectrum on the same Flexi Multiradio Base Station. The TD-LTE variant is fully compliant with 3GPP Release 8 LTE specifications. In addition, the common platform ensures easy maintenance and rapid evolution to future standards such as LTE-Advanced.

NSN said the abundance of available unpaired spectrum in many countries across the world will enable operators to make a quick transition to TD-LTE mobile broadband.

"TD-LTE is an evolutionary path for 3G TD-SCDMA and WiMAX networks, as well as an option for operators around the world who have available unpaired spectrum. The shift from TD-SCDMA and WiMAX to TD-LTE, will be a gradual process, thereby making it important that the two technologies co-exist with each other," said Thorsten Robrecht, head of LTE product management, Nokia Siemens Networks. "This achievement marks a solid step towards seamless evolution to TD-LTE and will enable operators to quickly move to the technology."

ZTE Appoints Mr. Lixin Cheng as CEO of ZTE USA

ZTE USA has appointed Mr. Lixin Cheng to the role of President of the North American Region and CEO of ZTE USA. He replaces Mr. Jiang Xiangyang who has stepped down in order to spend more time with his family. Jiang will continue working with ZTE's management team operating out of their headquarters in Shenzhen, China.

Mr. Cheng sits on the Board of Directors of the World Trade Center in San Diego and most recently founded ALA Group, Inc. where he provided consulting services to help technology companies increase penetration in the U.S. market. Mr. Cheng served as President of then start-up Axesstel Inc., from 2004 to 2006,. Previously, Mr. Cheng also led the sales and supply team at Ericsson Panda Ltd in China from 1998 to 2001.

OIF Kicks Off 2 Projects Focused on 100G

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) is starting two new 100G projects.

The first addresses the interoperable processing of Optical Transport Network (OTN) streams over a packet switch fabric. The convergence towards OTN as the primary transport protocol and the predominance of packet traffic lead to a need to switch ODUk/ODUflex in a Packet Fabric environment. The "OTN over Packet Fabric Protocol" project aims to develop a common protocol for switching ODUk/ODUflex data and timing through a packet fabric to ensure interoperability among framer and fabric devices. By defining a packetized ODUk/ODUflex format, true convergence is enabled as both packet and Constant Bit Rate (CBR) OTN signals can be switched by a common fabric within an Optical Transport Platform (OTP).

The second project addresses the important issue of thermal management at the faceplate of an optical communication system given the trend towards ever increasing port density coupled with the increased power consumption necessary to support higher data rates.

"The industry is seeing a trend toward converged packet optical transport as transport network rates increase to 40G/100G," said Dave Stauffer, of IBM and the OIF's Physical & Link Layer Working Group chair. "This leads to a growing need for interoperability between devices processing OTN clients and a converged OTP. A converged OTP may also lead to a more cost-effective approach."

In addition, the OIF's Physical Layer User Group will develop a white paper elaborating on the need and solutions to improve thermal management at the faceplate that support the trend of increasing power densities.

France Surpasses 20 Million Broadband Subscriptions

As of 31 March 2010, there were 20.06 million high-speed and ultra high-speed internet subscriptions in France. The number of subscriptions increased about 370,000 over the quarter. Over one year, the growth was about 1.69 million (+9%). The number of gross sales is about 1.075 million over the quarter.

19.73 million of these subscriptions were high-speed subscriptions. The number of ADSL subscriptions (18.81 million at the end of the quarter) represented 95% of high-speed broadband subscriptions and increased by about 315,000 throughout the quarter.

As of 31 march 2010, the total base of ultra high-speed broadband subscribers in France was estimated to 330,000 (about 40,000 net adds over the quarter), all operators and all technologies combined, including:

  • 75,000 FTTH or FTTB subscribers. The total net adds (+5,000 over the quarter) is due to growth in FTTH subscriptions;

  • 255,000 other subscribers (hybrid fiber-coax solution) which increased of about 35,000 over the quarter.

Infinera cites Gains in Long Haul DWDM Market Share

According to Dell'Oro Group data, Infinera took a record 39% share in Q1 2010 in the North American long-haul DWDM market, its highest share ever and more than double the share of the number two vendor. Infinera has ranked first in revenue in the North American long-haul market for the past three years. Infinera's revenue in North America was up 54% to $76.0 million on a year-on-year basis, according to Infinera earnings reports. By contrast, the North America long-haul DWDM market was down 8% to $177.3 million on a year-on-year basis, according to Dell'Oro Group data. Infinera believes that its growth in this period was due to the gain in new customers as well as the successful performance of Infinera customers in the telecom marketplace. Infinera customers in North America include major coast-to-coast networks like Cox Communications, Global Crossing, Internet2, and XO Communications, as well as two large Internet content providers. In Q1, Infinera added five new customers to its roster.

The company also noted that according to Dell'Oro Group data, Infinera ranked second in the worldwide long-haul optical networking market in Q1, with a 15% share of long-haul DWDM revenue. Infinera global revenue grew by 44% to $95.8 million on a year-on-year basis, as reported in Infinera earnings reports. Over the same period, worldwide long-haul DWDM revenue rose by just 1.3% to $575.4 million, according to Dell'Oro Group data. In recent months, Infinera has broadened its geographical reach, winning leading Tier 1 service providers like NTT of Japan, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica International Wholesale Services, and OTEGLOBE, as well as fast-growing European carriers like COLT and Tiscali.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Allot Lands $4.5 million Tier-1 Contract for Service Gateway

Allot Communications announced a contract valued at $4.5 million to supply its flagship Service Gateway to a Tier-1 fixed network operator (name not disclosed). This multi-site deployment is intended to initially handle more than 1 terabit of traffic.

Allot's SG-Sigma is a deep packet inspection (DPI) platform that integrates network intelligence, policy control, and revenue-generating services in a single platform. It facilitates value-added network and subscriber services , including TierManager, Quota Manager, NetPolicy Provisioner, CellWise, MediaSwift, WebSafe and ServiceProtector .
  • Tests conducted in December 2009 by the Tolly Group confirmed that a single fully loaded SG-Sigma can deliver throughput of over 75 Gbps with less than 16 microsecond latency. According to Allot, performance can scale up to 360 Gbps with a clustered configuration of SG-Sigma platforms.

Stoke Validates Mobile Data Offload with Ixia

Stoke is using IxNetwork and Ixia hardware to demonstrate that its Stoke Session Exchange mobile broadband gateway device processes high volumes of Generic Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Tunneling Protocol (GTP) traffic quickly and accurately. GTP specifies a tunnel control and management protocol required for communications between network elements in 3G packet core networks and LTE evolved packet core networks.

The Stoke Session Exchange (SSX) is a highly reliable, high density gateway platform designed and developed to deliver a wide range of network gateway functions that meet the challenges of rapidly growing mobile broadband data services for 3G and LTE network deployments. Ixia's IxNetwork test solution enables Stoke to validate its ability to reliably process GTP for mobile data offload deployments today, while paving the way for expanding the SSX's role in LTE's evolved packet core tomorrow. Ixia's IxNetwork works with its test platform to transmit and receive control and data traffic to the device under test. It can simulate IPv4 and IPv6 traffic over millions of GTP tunnels while applying dynamic traffic profile control and real-time per-flow analysis across hundreds of test ports at full-line rate.

Ralink Intros 2x2 MIMO Dual-band 802.11n and Bluetooth Chipset

Ralink Technology introduced a chipset capable of simultaneous 300 Mbps 2x2 MIMO dual band 802.11n and Bluetooth 3.0+HS operation. The half MiniCard, which is designed for PCs, notebooks, netbooks and connected mobile devices, provides concurrent operation of dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth's highest performance modes. Peer-to-peer gaming, shared and tethered connections can now be initiated via Bluetooth 3.0+HS detection and setup while 2x2 MIMO 802.11n dual-band Wi-Fi boosts data rates to 300Mpbs. The company said its chipset eliminates interference by allowing Wi-Fi and Bluetooth components to coexist in the same band or to function in separate frequency bands. It dynamically adjusts WLAN and Bluetooth transmission parameters to reduce interference, maximize performance, and automatically adjust to the presence and operating characteristics of nearby Wi-Fi networks.

Ralink Technology also introduced its two next generation xDSL2+ 11n Wi-Fi IAD (Integrated Access Device) solutions/ The ADSL2+ and 802.11n CPE solution, which is applicable for ADSL single-port 1T1R/2T2R and four-port 1T1R/2T2R 802.11n Wi-Fi gateways, also supports a variety of peripherals via USB2.0 host interface to meet customer demand for digital home peripherals and applications such as connecting media server disk drives and optional 3G connections.
  • Earlier this year, Ralink Technology, a leading supplier of WiFi silicon solutions, acquired TrendChip Technologies Corporation, a leading supplier of DSL chipsets. Both companies are listed on the listed on Taiwan's TAIEX exchange.