Sunday, June 6, 2010

GSA: 22 LTE networks Expected in Service This Year

The Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) predicts that 22 LTE networks will be in commercial service by end 2010. TeliaSonera was the first to launch a commercial LTE service in December 2009.

The GSA said 80 operators have made firm commitments to deploy LTE networks in 33 countries (compared to 64 network commitments identified two months ago). LTE networks are now being installed or planned for commercial service in Armenia, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong SAR, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Latvia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, The Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, UAE, USA, and Uzbekistan.

Governments in Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands have all completed auctions of spectrum in recent weeks including 2.6 GHz, which is targeted for LTE systems. Germany has also completed Europe's first auction of 800 MHz (digital dividend) spectrum in which the winning operators also plan to deploy LTE systems. Further auctions of spectrum suitable for LTE are anticipated in the coming months.

The GSA report notes that in addition to the well established commitment to new 2.6 GHz and digital dividend spectrum (800 MHz in Europe, 700 MHz in the Americas) for LTE, a number of operators are considering deploying LTE in the 1800 MHz band.

Tele2 Appoints Ericsson Exec as CEO

Tele2 AB has appointed Mats Granryd as President and CEO. Mats is currently the head of Northern Europe and Central Asia for Ericsson. He previously led the North West Europe, India, CDMA and North Africa units and the global customer accounts for Vodafone and Bharti. Before joining Ericsson he was a management consultant in telecom strategies at ARRIGO and Andersen. Mats holds an MSc from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

Alcatel-Lucent Appoints VP of Business and IT Transformation

Robin Dargue has been appointed Executive Vice-President of Business and Information Technology Transformation at Alcatel-Lucent. In this newly-created position, Robin will be responsible for accelerating the company's transformation through transforming IS/IT and the enterprise architecture, while coordinating the execution of key corporate transformation programs.

Robin joins Alcatel-Lucent from the British Royal Mail where he served as CIO and Technology Director, in charge of a vast IT based transformation program. At British Royal Mail, he oversaw the implementation of 30,000 handheld devices supported by the UK's largest Wi-Fi network, and the introduction of a number of new technology-led products and services for customers, while executing the modernization of the organisation technology assets.

MRV Supplies Optical Transport for Santa Monica, California

The City of Santa Monica, California, has deployed MRV Communications' optical transport, network demarcation and network management products as part of its municipal network serving its business community.

Santa Monica City Net is a 10 Gbps fiber optic network that provides the opportunity to integrate data, voice and video, and efficiently manage data exchanges with business partners. The City provides access direct to local businesses through Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that service Santa Monica.

Santa Monica City Net is based on MRV's LambdaDriver WDM optical transport system, OptiSwitch 9124 (OS9124) packet optical aggregation units and OptiSwitch 912 (OS912) multi-port demarcation platform, all managed and provisioned by the company's Pro-Vision software.

MRV LambdaDriver units were installed to connect Santa Monica businesses with Los Angeles' premiere data center with more than 160 ISPs and one of the major hub sites in Santa Monica. OS912 units were also installed at multi-tenant buildings throughout Santa Monica and OS9124 units were installed to aggregate data from those buildings.

ZTE Debuts Commercial TD-LTE Base Stations

ZTE announced commercial availability of two TD-LTE base stations: BBU- B8300 and RRU- R8962.

ZTE's B8300 TD-LTE base station is based on ZTE's SDR unified platform and can be upgraded from TD-SCDMA mode to TD-LTE or TD/TD-LTE dual mode. The R8962 TD-LTE base station supports two channels with 20W transmission power each. Product features include multi-mode functions of TD/TD-LTE, as well as multi-band 2.3/2.6 GHz and multi-scenario indoor/outdoor applications.

ZTE noted that it has now deployed more than 250 thousand SDR base stations across the globe, including in mainland China, Hong Kong, India and Chile. The company constructed a TD-LTE network for the Shanghai World Expo Press Center, and the company's 2G/3G dual-mode base station built upon the SDR platform was nominated for a GSMA Global Mobile Award in 2009.

Level 3 Launches New Vyvx Local Switching Services

Level 3 Communications is now enabling its Vyvx customers to transmit - or "switch" - video feeds between two local loops within a single market. Broadcasters can now get access to Level 3's extensive national Vyvx footprint of coverage and a cost-effective alternative for local switching services. Level 3 said its value proposition now includes:

  • An extensive footprint -- At its launch, new local switching rates will be available in more than 50 markets.

  • HD support -- Level 3's Vyvx network will support HD loops in a number of markets starting the first day of launch, with support for both 1.5 Gbps and 3 Gbps. These services will initially be available in a dozen markets, including New York City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Miami, with more cities added in the coming year.

  • International reach -- The same local switching rates apply in all U.S. markets, as well as London.

  • Loop flexibility -- With Level 3, there are no access restrictions. Unlike other providers that require access to be procured through them, customers using Level 3's Local Switching service will have the option to procure their own loops or buy through Level 3 Vyvx.

Apple's FaceTime Promises Open Standards

The FaceTime
video calling application in the upcoming iPhone 4 initially will run only over Wi-Fi networks. It will also be limited to video calls between new iPhones. However, in his keynote presentation, Steve Jobs said FaceTime will be based on standards, including h.264, AAC, SIP, STUN, TURN, ICE, RTP, SRTP. The company is expected to take FaceTime to industry standards bodies as a proposed open standard.

Empirix Acquires Mutina for Monitoring Surveillance Tech

Empirix has acquired privately held Mutina Technology S.p.A., which specializes in monitoring surveillance and analysis technologies for Mobile Broadband (MBB), Next Generation Networks (NGN), SS7/Sigtran Signaling, VoD/IPTV, and IP Core for Telecom and Enterprise Networks. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Mutina, which is based in Modena, Italy, designs and manufactures portable protocol and service analyzers, probes for high performance IP monitoring of telecom and Data Networks, NIC products for OEM, and active testing systems for quality of service in IP environments.

Expirix said the acquisition expands its product line for the monitoring of mobile networks and extends the company's presence in EMEA and Asia Pacific.

Specifically, the combination of Empirix's Hammer XMS solution for IMS, VoIP and SS7 networks with the IPXPlorer system from Mutina provides a solution for mobile broadband, video and data.

Empirix and Mutina bring a common architectural approach to the monitoring challenges of mobile and fixed networks. Both companies deploy software and custom hardware designed for high bandwidth IP with the flexibility of supporting legacy SS7/C7 signaling. The combined technology offers hardware platforms capable of monitoring up to 40GB of traffic per probe, providing real time analysis of IP services, user payload and network impairments.

"As service providers move quickly towards LTE networks, there is a need to monitor increasingly large amounts of voice, video, and data across all access networks," said John D'Anna, CEO of Empirix.

Empirix is privately held and headquartered in Bedford, MA.

NTT's "Kazaspot" Combines Mobile Marketing with "Osaifu-Keitai" Mobile Wallet

NTT Communications is introducing a software-as-a-service (SaaS) mobile-marketing solution that enables stores to engage consumers via mobile phones embedded with contactless IC chips, known as Osaifu-Keitai ("mobile wallet") in Japan.

"Kazaspot," which combines the Japanese words for waving and spot, comprises dedicated reader/writer data terminals installed in physical stores and connected to servers at NTT Com's secure, robust data center.

Consumers simply wave their mobile wallets over the terminals to download basic data that enables them to participate in mobile Web-based surveys, loyalty programs, gift lotteries and other customer programs. The customer's mobile phone becomes the user interface. The system works with mobile-wallet phones from NTT DOCOMO, au and SoftBank Mobile.

NTT Com said its new Biz Marketing Kazaspot will allow enterprises to flexibly customize solutions and integrate them with not only existing services, but even vending machines and digital signage. A variety of reader/writer terminals are available to suit specific types of solutions.

The carrier noted that there are now more than 60 million mobile wallets in Japan being used for electronic money, rapid transit payments, identification, etc.

Calient Expands Sales Staff, Sees Opportunity in 100G Switching

Calient Networks, which supplies optical switching based on 3D MEMS technology, has expanded its sales force with the addition of four new sales executives. The Santa Barbara, California based company said it sees opportunity for its optical switches as network evolve to 100G.

New members of the Calient team include:

O.J. Johnston, who joins Calient as its new global solutions leader. Prior to joining the Calient team, Johnston held various positions at Glimmerglass Networks and Cisco Systems.

John Reynolds, who will oversee the company's business development for data center and OEM partners. Reynolds' past sales experience includes positions at Infinera and Ciena.

Bill Stephenson, who will be responsible for Calient's business development for service providers. Prior to joining Calient, Stephenson held various positions at Ciena and Nortel.

Glenn Stern, who joins the company as its new government practice leader. Stern comes from FORTINET, where he served as director of federal business development. Stern previously served as a National Account Manager for AT&T for ADTRAN.

Dell'Oro: Service Provider Edge Router Market Share

Vendor market shares of the Service Provider Edge Router market encountered several changes during the first quarter of 2010. According to a newly published report by Dell'Oro Group, Cisco Systems recorded a share gain of almost 5 percentage points to extend its leading position to 47 percent. Juniper Networks recaptured the number two ranking from Alcatel-Lucent, a position that Alcatel-Lucent had held for the previous three quarters. Tellabs jumped two spots from sixth to fourth as sales of its edge routers surged to record levels.

"As the Service Provider Edge Router market recovers this year, a number of variables is affecting the vendors' performance," said Shin Umeda, Vice President at Dell'Oro Group. "For example, Cisco is benefiting from its large, global customer base and new product cycles, while Tellabs, a much smaller company, is seeing strong demand for its products in wireless networks," added Umeda.

Ozmo Devices Raises $10 Million for Wi-Fi PAN

Ozmo Devices, a start-up based in Palo Alto, California, raised $10.8 million in Series D funding for its low-power Wi-Fi Personal Area Network (Wi-Fi PAN) solutions. Ozmo Devices' chipset enables low-power wireless peripherals like mice and headsets.

Atlantic Bridge Ventures led the round with participation of existing investors Granite Ventures and Intel Capital. Brian Long, partner at Atlantic Bridge, will join the Board of Directors.
  • Earlier this year, Ozmo Devices namded Bill McLean as president and CEO.

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.