Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Speakeasy to Merge with MegaPath + Covad

Speakeasy, which is owned by Best Buy, will combine its business with Covad Communications and MegaPath. The deal will merge Speakeasy' small business voice and data services with MegaPath's value-added services for distributed enterprises, and make them available over Covad's nationwide broadband network.

The combination of Speakeasy+MegaPath+Covad will create a "managed services local exchange carrier" (MSLEC) able to provide a full range of IP voice, security, VPN and Internet services nationwide.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2010, contingent upon closing of the previously announced transaction between MegaPath and Covad. Financial terms were not be disclosed.

Best Buy acquired Speakeasy in 2007 and will continue to be a minority investor going forward.

Once the mergers close, the integrated company will serve the market through two divisions: a wholesale operating division and a direct, commercial division. Craig Young, current CEO of MegaPath, will become executive chairman of the combined businesses; reporting to Craig will be Pat Bennett who will continue as CEO of Covad Communications, and Bruce Chatterley, current CEO of Speakeasy, who will be president of the commercial unit in charge of all non-wholesale customer sales and marketing division.

"The combination of Covad, MegaPath and Speakeasy will create the next-generation CLEC - an MSLEC that can offer customers and partners a full suite of managed IP broadband services and access over a powerful national network," said D. Craig Young, MegaPath CEO. "With the additional resources, mature channels and enhancements to the service portfolio, we expect the combined companies to extend their leadership position in the SMB, enterprise and wholesale markets."

  • In March 2010, Covad and MegaPath announced plans to merge into a single company. Pending federal and state regulatory approvals, the transaction will create one of the largest managed service local exchange carriers (MSLEC) in the U.S. Financial terms were not disclosed. Covad provides a wide range of access and hub aggregation services, including Ethernet, DSL, and T1. It operates a nationwide IP/MPLS network and its network footprint encompasses some 4,400 central offices (COs) in 45 states and 240 metropolitan statistical areas. Covad wholesale partners include leading providers such as AT&T, Verizon Business, and Sprint. The company is based in San Jose, California. MegaPath provides managed IP communications services across North America. It also operates a nation-wide MPLS backbone with POPs in 30 major cities MegaPath is based in Costa Mesa, California.

Akamai Acquires Velocitude for Mobile Optimization

Akamai Technologies has acquired Velocitude, a start-up based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, for an undisclosed sum. The acquisition is expected to further Akamai's strategic position in the mobile market -- adding mobile content transformation.

Velocitude offers a mobile services optimization platform. The company's software-as-a-service mobile platform transforms PC-oriented websites into viewable mobile sites.

Akamai said it intends to tranfer the Velocitude functionality into its existing suite of cloud services for optimizing Web content and applications, enabling delivery of HD video and secure e-commerce to mobile devices.

"To capitalize on the rapidly-changing and growing demands of mobile Internet users, enterprises must overcome some specific challenges to ensure both a highly-performing mobile site and a high-quality end user experience," said Paul Sagan, president and CEO of Akamai. "We believe Velocitude has developed a powerful set of solutions to enable optimal mobile Internet experiences across a multitude of different devices. By integrating Velocitude into our global network, we will be able to offer customers a way to leverage Akamai cloud-based services for mobile performance, as well as to translate Web sites into specific device-optimized experiences. Our goal is to offer the most capable mobile delivery solution available anywhere that combines the convenience of mobile while offering readability and fast response times."

RAD Supplies Ethernet over SDH at World Cup

RAD Data Communications has supplied its RIC-E3 Fast Ethernet over E3 Network Termination Units (NTUs)to a major European carrier to transmit IP video coverage of the World Cup. The IP video broadcast to be transported over a legacy SDH network. The carrier will be maintaining two separate SDH connections between Africa and Europe, one active and one redundant, in order to guarantee transmission in the event of a network failure.

The RICi-E3 NTU enables Fast Ethernet traffic to be transported over E3 access lines by providing Ethernet-to-TDM conversion. In addition, the device can be used to extend Ethernet LANs over SDH/SONET, with remote fault monitoring, end-to-end traffic separation and guaranteed quality of service (QoS).

Canada's EastLink Selects Cisco ASR 9000 Aggregation Router

EastLink, the Canadian cable operator serving parts of Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia, is deploying Cisco ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers as the broadband aggregation platform to deliver ultra-high-speed Internet access throughout its Atlantic Canada footprint. Initial deployment of the Cisco ASR 9000 will occur in the Atlantic regional centers, which serve EastLink customers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. EastLink's ASR 9000 deployment complements its existing Cisco optical infrastructure, which includes the Cisco ONS 15454 Multiservice Transport Platform (MSTP). Financial terms were not disclosed.

The Cisco ASR-9000, which was introduced in November 2008, offers 6.4 terabits per second of total capacity and 400 Gbps capacity per slot, enabling to it accept 16 x 10 GE cards and grow to 320 x 10GE, or 32 x 100 GE per system. The platform leverages the same 40-core "QuantumFlow" processor that is featured in the smaller capacity Cisco ASR 1000 edge router. It also incorporates the Cisco Advanced Video Services Module (AVSM), which provides terabytes of streaming capacity at the aggregation edge while simultaneously offering content caching, ad insertion, fast channel change and error correction.

Soonr Raises $4.5 Million for Cloud Service Platform

Soonr, a start-up based in Campbell, California, raised $4.5 million for its cloud services platform.

Soonr's cloud applications address file access and backup needs of consumers and businesses. The service provides continuous protection and synchronization of critical files as well as collaboration tools. The fully-integrated cloud service delivery model is offered as both a direct and white label service. It works across carrier networks and major handset operating systems including iPhone, Android and Blackberry smart phones.

The new funding came from existing investors (Clearstone, Intel Capital, Cisco, Presidio Ventures) and HighBAR Ventures.

Quantenna's 4x4 MIMO Chipset Receives Wi-Fi Alliance Certification

Quantenna Communications' "Full-11n" 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) Wi-Fi chipset has received the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n and Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) designations from the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Quantenna's QHS600 chipset is a member of Quantenna's growing family of Full-11n Wi-Fi solutions, which incorporate all specifications in the IEEE802.11n standard including 4x4 MIMO. The company's Full-11n chipsets also incorporate extensions to the IEEE802.11n standard such as dynamic digital beamforming and wireless channel monitoring and optimizing, which enable Wi-Fi home networks to deliver the same quality as wired Ethernet.
ith thousands of other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n products."

"Quantenna offers the only solution on the market that provides the necessary network capacity and reliability to allow users to enjoy multiple simultaneous streams of 1080p resolution HD video over Wi-Fi, anywhere in the home," said David French, Quantenna CEO. "And now, with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n designation for our Full-11n solution, our customers' products have been validated to work with thousands of other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n products."

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n designation indicates that a product has passed rigorous testing and can deliver the very best user experience with advanced Wi-Fi technology based on the 802.11n standard. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices have also been tested for interoperability to improve the user experience. The Wi-Fi Alliance says that, as a group, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n devices can deliver five times or more speed and up to twice the range of older Wi-Fi standards.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) provides multimedia enhancements for Wi-Fi networks that improve the user experience for audio, video, and voice applications. Quantenna fully supports these WMM specifications, which the Wi-Fi Alliance has defined as a profile of the IEEE 802.11e Quality of Service (QoS) extensions for 802.11 networks.

Quantenna's solution also complies with the Wi-Fi Alliance's WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2) specifications, which provide network administrators with a high level of assurance that only authorized users can access the network. Based on the ratified IEEE 802.11i standard, WPA2 provides government grade security by implementing the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) FIPS 140-2 compliant AES encryption algorithm.
  • In May 2010, Quantenna Communications introduced its third-generation Full-11n 4x4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) chipset, enabling whole-home video distribution of multiple HD streams using 802.11n Wi-Fi. Quantenna's newest 802.11n Wi-Fi chipset breaks ground in several ways. First, the design has been optimized for volume production and the company estimates it is approaching the 3x3 MIMO price range. Device size has been cut in half and power consumption by one-third as compared to previous solutions. It incorporated features that simplify transceiver certification in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Error vector magnitude (EVM) and phase-noise performance have both been enhanced to boost range and reliability, and the chipset's receiver linearity significantly reduces interference. Quantenna said its solution can reliable deliver multiple HD video streams (100+ Mbps) over distances of 100 feet or more.

  • In May 2010, Quantenna Communications, a start-up based in Fremont, California, raised $15 million in a Series D round of financing for its 4X4 MIMO 802.11n chipsets designed for next gen home networking. The new funding came from Quantenna's current investors: Grazia Equity, Sequoia Capital, Sigma Partners, Southern Cross, Swisscom, and Venrock Associates.

Amazon Web Services Simplifies Large Data Transfers

Amazon has released a new web service interface that enables easy management of large data transfers and migrations. The new Amazon Web Services (AWS) Import/Export accelerates moving large amounts of data into and out of AWS using portable storage devices for transport. The company claims that for large data sets, AWS Import/Export is often significantly faster than Internet transfer and more cost effective than upgrading network connectivity.

ADTRAN Selected for FTTH and Broadband DLC in Oregon and Nevada

Reliance Connects (formerly known as Cascade Utilities Inc. in Oregon & Rio Virgin Telephone and Cablevision in Nevada) has selected ADTRAN's Total Access 5000 Multi-Service Access and Aggregation Platform along with the Total Access 1124P Sealed DSLAMs and Total Access 300 Series ONTs for future FTTH deployments. The ADTRAN solutions will be used to extend broadband services to previously underserved rural areas and upgrade their existing legacy access network.

WiMAX Forum Certifies First MIMO 2.3 GHz Mobile Products

The WiMAX Forum has certified the first two Mobile WiMAX products for the MIMO 2.3 GHz profile: base stations operating in the 2.3 GHz band from Huawei and Samsung.

Tests of the newly certified products were conducted at WiMAX Forum testing labs in China and Korea. In addition to these labs, the ADT lab in Taiwan recently completed the construction of its 2.3 GHz test bed infrastructure and is ready to begin testing of submitted products.

The completion of the 2.3 GHz certification testing profile allows WiMAX Forum designated labs to accept tri-band (2.3, 2.5 and 3.5 GHz) products and immediately begin the certification process.

The WiMAX Forum noted that WiMAX operators with 2.3GHz spectrum holdings are among the fastest growing sector in the WiMAX ecosystem. Globally, the WiMAX Forum has tracked more than 50 commercial deployments in this spectrum band and 588 total WiMAX deployments in 148 countries as of April 2010.

MultiService Forum Completes EPC Interoperability Testing

An Evolved Packet Core (EPC) interoperability event, conducted by The MSF (MultiService Forum) in March, verified interoperability between EPC elements from a variety of global vendors. The test environment utilized inter-operator interfaces between the Vodafone Centre for Test and Innovation in Düsseldorf and the China Mobile Research Institute in Beijing. Participants in this event included Alcatel-Lucent, Bridgewater Systems, Cisco/Starent, Codenomicon, Huawei, JDSU, NEC and ZTE.

The Evolved Packet Core connects mobile subscribers to the application layer in LTE networks by providing QoS management and mobility functions. This is critical to support data, voice and video during the transition to an all IP network. The MSF said it is vital that operators have confidence in the multi-vendor interoperability of EPC components before they begin volume deployment.

Elements tested during this event included eNodeB (base station), Mobility Management Entity (MME), Serving Gateway (SGW), Packet Data Network Gateway (PGW), Home Subscriber Server (HSS), Policy and Charging Rule Function (PCRF), Proxy Call Session Control Function (P-CSCF), and other elements of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) Core.

The MSF testing incorporated a series of progressively more complex scenarios that encompassed basic interoperability, roaming, and finally, handover. Testing began with end-to-end calls using EPC elements from one vendor, and then introduced permutations of EPC core elements from different vendors, changing out one element at a time. Test results were carefully logged and discrepancies noted to facilitate a detailed root cause analysis of any problems.

In something truly unique for an event of this type, Codenomicon performed robustness testing on the signaling. The focus of the test effort was GTPv2, a new release of the GTP protocol, which plays a crucial role in communication between LTE core network elements. The goal of the testing was to assess the robustness of new LTE network elements and to enable security testing across network trust boundaries.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

AT&T Security Hole Exposes 3G iPad Email Addresses

A security vulnerability on an AT&T website exposed the names, email addresses and ICC ID credentials of an estimated 114,000 iPad 3G owners in the United States, according to a report from The list includes many CEOs and top government and military officials. The breach was confined to AT&T servers and has not been patched, according to Gawker, although the incident is likely to raise questions about the overall security of iPads and iPhones.

Hitachi EPON/DePON Fiber Acces Gains USDA Acceptance

Hitachi's Salira DePON product family has been accepted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) for use on projects funded by the Rural Telecom Infrastructure and by the Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Programs.

USDA RUS listing allows broadband service providers serving communities of up to 20,000 population to install Hitachi's Salira DePON solution using funding obtained under the RUS programs.
  • In May 2010, Hitachi 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.

BT launches Virtual Data Centre in Brazil

BT launched its Virtual Data Centre (VDC) service in Brazil. The servoce provides a dynamic and virtualised infrastructure platform that enterprises to address their IT and networking infrastructure needs as a service. BT VDC offers servers, storage, networks and security that is orchestrated and automatically provisioned through its online portal.

Ciena Posts Q2 Revenue of $253.5 million

Ciena reported revenue of $253.5 million for its second quarter of fiscal 2010. This includes $53.5 million in revenue from the acquired assets of Nortel's Metro Ethernet Networks business (the MEN business), reflecting approximately six weeks of operations since the March 19, 2010 acquisition date.

Revenue from Ciena's pre-acquisition portfolio was $200.0 million, representing a 14% sequential improvement compared to fiscal first quarter revenue of $175.9 million, and a 39% improvement compared to the same period a year ago when Ciena reported revenue of $144.2 million. Some notes:

  • Ciena's net loss (GAAP) was $(90.0) million, or $(0.97) per common share, which compares to a GAAP net loss of $(503.2) million, or $(5.53) per common share, for the second fiscal quarter of 2009, which included a non-cash charge of $455.7 million for impairment of goodwill.

  • Non-U.S. customers contributed 29% of total revenue.

  • Two customers each accounted for greater than 10% of revenue, and 42% of total sales in the aggregate.

  • GAAP gross margin of 41%.

Brocade Unveils its "One" Architecture for Virtualized Data Centers

At a press and industry analyst event in NYC, Brocade outlined its vision for unifying network architecture and simplifying the virtualization of enterprise applications.

The strategy centers on removing network layers, simplifying management and protecting existing technology investments as enterprises migrate to cloud architectures.

In the data center, Brocade shares a common industry view that IT infrastructures will eventually evolve to a highly virtualized, services-on-demand state enabled through the cloud.

Brocade is developing a Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) technology as the core technology for building large, high-performance and flat Layer 2 data center fabrics to better support the increased adoption of server virtualization. VCS is built on Data Center Bridging (DCB) technologies to meet the increased network reliability and performance requirements as customers deploy more VMs. The VCS technology would eliminate the need for Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) and would simplify the data center fabric by treating a cluster as a single logical chassis.

Brocade VCS would act as masterless and distributed control plane, providing continuous synchronization of state, status and configuration information -- such as virtual machine (VM) meta-data, network and storage policies -- between member nodes to enable converged fabrics to be self-forming, auto-healing and self-configuring.

Another key technology in Brocade VCS is the emerging IETF standard Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) that will provide a more efficient way of moving data throughout converged fabrics. This includes automatically determining the shortest path between routes.

The Brocade One architecture also calls for a new logical layer between Brocade converged fabric and server virtualization hypervisors. This would help ensure a consistent interface and set of services for virtual machines (VMs) connected to the network. The company said its Brocade Virtual Access Layer would be vendor-agnostic and support all major hypervisors by utilizing industry-standard technologies, including the emerging Virtual Ethernet Port Aggregator (VEPA) and Virtual Ethernet Bridging (VEB) standards.

To enable this Brocade One architecture, the company will offer a comprehensive suite of solutions in support of converged fabrics and Ethernet networking that includes:

  • A new converged fabric switch, converged fabric operating system and converged fabric management tools.

  • New channel partner specialization for partners offering the new converged fabric solutions as part of their portfolio.

  • New support and professional consulting services offering for converged fabric solutions, Brocade Converged Fabric Services, from Brocade Global Services.

  • New diagnostic and assessment utility, called Brocade NET Health™, which will help customers gauge the efficiency of their networks and measure them against industry best practices.

  • New training and certification program designed to educate Brocade customers and partners on the new converged fabric technologies.

"Driven by the growth of server virtualization, continued growth of data and the proliferation of devices connected to the network, the networking industry is on the cusp of a major innovation cycle," said Mike Klayko, CEO of Brocade. "Virtualized data centers will enable the realization of cloud architectures where services and applications can be delivered on-demand and at much greater speeds than is possible today."

Daimler Renews with Orange for IP VPN in Latin America

Daimler AG has renewed a key contract with Orange Business Services for its IP VPN service in Latin America. This includes the responsibility of Orange Business Services for the network and Business Talk Global, a feature-rich, converged voice VPN service, to 12 of the automotive company's sites in Latin America to the company's headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

CTIA Spring 2011 Scheduled in Orlando

The Spring 2011 International CTIA WIRELESS show will take place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from March 22-24, 2011. The show will return to the Las Vegas Convention Center for March 27-29, 2012.

This year's International CTIA WIRELESS 2010 attracted 39,000 attendees, of which 20% were international visitors.

Alcatel-Lucent Pushes Ahead with 100G Coherent Optical Transmission

Alcatel-Lucent introduced its next-generation, 100 Gbps coherent optical transmission technology for overcoming fiber impairments across the network. The technology, which was developed in-house by Bell Labs, leverages an ultra fast baud-rate monolithic digital signal processor implemented in CMOS along with 100G PDM-QPSK modulation. This combination eliminates need for external PMD/CD compensators, enabling the transmission of 100G wavelengths alongside existing 10G/40G wavelengths over the existing fiber plant.

Alcatel-Lucent said its coherent detection and 100G PDM-QPSK (Polarization Division Multiplexing - Quadri-Phase Shift Keying,# Binary-Phase Shift Keying) modulation offer maximum compatibility with existing lower speed infrastructures. The technology is now availability in the 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) and is also being deployed on all of Alcatel-Lucent's DWDM platforms.

The company also confirmed that the 100G-capable 1830 PSS has been selected by SOFTBANK TELECOM Corp. to upgrade its backbone network. Additionally, Alcatel-Lucent's next-generation coherent technology has already been successfully tested with Tier-1 customers worldwide, including Telefonica.
http://www.alcatel-lucent.comIn October 2008, Alcatel-Lucent announced the worldwide commercial availability of its 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS), a metro WDM platform offering a "Zero Touch Photonics" value proposition. Alcatel-Lucent said its Zero Touch Photonics eliminates the need for frequent on-site interventions and provides a WDM network that is more flexible to design and install, easier to operate, manage and monitor, where wavelength services can be deployed faster and reconfigured according to more dynamic traffic demands.

The Alcatel-Lucent 1830 PSS features a fully tunable and reconfigurable (T&ROADM) architecture for wavelength switching, and integrates optical monitoring capabilities for end-to-end photonic traffic monitoring and fault localization at the wavelength level. Key features include:

  • High-density multiplexer/demultiplexer (mux/demux) per network element (NE)/degree

  • Wavelength Tracker monitors and traces each wavelength at any point in the network

  • Static, tunable/reconfigurable optical add/ drop multiplexer (T/ROADM) with single-wavelength add/drop granularity

  • Up to 44 wavelengths 100 GHz ITU WDM per fiber pair

  • Support for the full range of network topologies, including ring, point-to-point and arbitrary optical mesh topologies.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Virtela Launches Cloud-Based Application Acceleration Service

Virtela, which provides global managed network services through partnerships with 500+ carriers, introduced a virtualized application acceleration service for enterprises that promises performance boosts of up to 25x without the upfront investment of acceleration hardware. Specifically, Virtela's virtualized acceleration service leverages the network cloud instead of dedicated hardware appliances at each branch office.

Virtela is operating 50 Local Cloud Centers (LCCs), distributed around the world in close proximity to end users, to accelerate applications immediately, near the content source. The service applies caching, compression, higher layer communication protocol and other application optimization techniques to reduce application chattiness, resulting in the 5-25x performance boost.

Virrtela said its service can be activated instantly in more than 190 countries at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. The service is just $5 per day per branch office location. For example, a 20-branch-office network that follows a traditional device-dependent approach would cost $200,000 in year one, compared to $36,000 with Virtela's cloud-based model - five times less.

The new service accelerates applications between any location - headquarters, data centers, branch offices, mobile workers and partner sites - anywhere in the world. Some of the performance gains include:

  • 7-25x for Microsoft Windows File Sharing (e.g., Microsoft Office)

  • 5-17x for Microsoft Exchange and Lotus Notes Email

  • 5-13x for ERP/CRM Applications (e.g., Siebel, Oracle,

  • 6-10x for Web-based Collaboration (e.g., Microsoft SharePoint, Oracle WebCenter)

  • 10-25x for Data Backup and Storage (e.g., EMC, NetApp, Amazon EC2)

Virtela is backing its price/performance claims with an application response time guarantee: "if customers do not experience faster response times, they do not pay - and Virtela will pay them 250% of their service charge."

Alcatel-Lucent Selected for Africa-Coast-to-Europe Cable

Alcatel-Lucent has signed a turnkey contract valued at over US$500 million with Africa Coast to Europe (ACE), a newly formed consortium composed of 20 operators linking Cape Town in South Africa to Penmarch in France via a submarine cable network.

With an ultimate design capacity of 5.12 Terabit per second (Tbps), ACE has built-in 40 Gbps. Its 17,000-km coastal route will link South Africa to France - via Namibia, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Cameroon, Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, The Gambia, Senegal, Mauritania, Tenerife (Spain) and Portugal -- and will have 21 landing points along the route. Commercial launch is expected in the first half of 2012.

Initiated and headed by France Telecom-Orange, the consortium is composed of twenty parties: Baharicom Development Company, Benin Telecoms, Cable Consortium of Liberia, Orange Cameroun, Companhia Santomense de Telecomunicações, Côte d'Ivoire Telecom, Expresso Telecom Group, France Telecom, Gambia Telecommunications Company, International Mauritania Telecom, Office Congolais des Postes et Télécommunication, Orange Guinea, Orange Mali, Orange Niger, PT Comunicações, the Republic of Equatorial Guinea, the Gabonese Republic, Sierra Leone Cable, Société des Télécommunications de Guinée and Sonatel.

Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its advance submarine line terminal (1620 Light Manager) working at up to 40 Gbps and using phase shift keying (PSK)-based modulation formats with next-generation coherent detection to deal with transmission impairments. Alcatel-Lucent will also supply its branching units and will implement its 1678 Metro Core Connect in the landing points that will be located along the route.