Thursday, June 10, 2010

ITU Approves as Global Standard for Wired Home Networking

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T) formally approved the standard for next-generation wired home networks. All three components of the new standard --- the Data Link Layer (G.9961), Physical Layer (G.9960) and coexistence protocol (G.9972) --- are now complete. The first products based on this standard are expected to reach the market later this year. is expected to simplify the home networking market, which has until now been cluttered with many competing technologies and upgrade variations. A global standard, when implemented by service providers, could lead to better and cheaper home gateways and IPTV set-top boxes.
Consumer electronics manufacturers will be able to provide powerful devices for connecting all types of entertainment, home automation, and security products throughout the house. Smart Grid devices such as electricity meters, heating and air conditioning systems, electrical appliances, electrical vehicles, and lighting systems will also benefit from the reliability, security, and low-power consumption provided by the Recommendation.

"In an industry cluttered with a host of incompatible technologies, we congratulate the ITU-T for championing one standard that truly delivers anywire connectivity and next-generation performance," said Matt Theall, president of HomeGrid Forum and technology strategist at Intel Corporation. " is the only technology platform that supports every wire in the home. We believe that consumer electronics manufacturers, PC companies, and service providers--and every group that works within these markets--will benefit from the commercial availability of this technology as it rolls out later this year."http://

Eight Silicon Vendors Back

Eight silicon vendors have announced their support of the new ITU-T and G.hnem technologies for wired home networking and energy management. Kawasaki Microelectronics America and TangoTec are the newest members of HomeGrid Forum, joining leading semiconductor suppliers DS2, Ikanos, Intel, Lantiq, Sigma Designs, and Texas Instruments as backers of the recently approved standard.

"Silicon providers are lining up in support of because they see the advantage and opportunity made available through one truly global standard technology for multimedia networking in the home," said Matt Theall, president of HomeGrid Forum and technology strategist at Intel Corporation. "These silicon companies are working to deliver next-generation technology that will enable their customers to better service their markets with future-generation products that are efficient, simpler to deploy, and works over all three wires--coax, phone, and power lines."

Ekinops Signs Resell Agreement with Japan's Marubeni

Marubeni Information Systems (MSYS), a solution provider of high value-added solutions and services, has agreed to sell, support, and maintain Ekinops' optical transmission equipment in the Japanese telecom service provider market.

Under the agreement, Ekinops and MSYS are working together to bring the Ekinops 360 metro, regional, and long haul DWDM platform to market in Japan.

The Ekinops 360 platform, with its T-Chip (Transport on a Chip) technology, transports a wide variety of traffic types, including SONET, video, Ethernet, and Fibre Channel. The Ekinops 360 Dynamic Multi-Reach Transport System provides DWDM and CWDM in a single solution that addresses metro, regional, and long haul applications. It offers features such as DynaMux, dynamic multiplexing functionality that allows multiplexing of any mix of protocols over a single wavelength and over any protocol on that wavelength; forward error correction, the innovative "DynaFEC", which eliminates errors in transmission and enables longer reach using software instead of expensive hardware; and WaveBonding, a low-cost, long-reach 40G technology.

India's Hot BWA Auction Announces Winners

India's Ministry of Communications & Information Technology concluded its auction for broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum after 117 rounds over 16 days of online bidding. This new BWA auction is offering 2 blocks of 20MHz in the 2.3GHz band across the same 22 service areas. All the 44 blocks that were put up for auction across the 22 service areas in the country were sold, leaving no unsold lots.

The auction raised total government revenues of Rs 38,543.31 crore. Infotel won BWA spectrum for all 22 circles and has an obligation to pay Rs 12,847.77 crore. Other winners include Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Qualcomm and Tikona Digital Networks. BSNL/MTNL, which did not participate in auction because they were granted spectrum prior to the auction, will now be obliged to pay the auction price for their BWA holdings.

Full results are posted online.

Cisco Quad Integrates Voice, Video and Social into one Workspace

Cisco introduced a "Quad" immersive platform for enterprise collaboration that integrates voice, video and social networking into one workspace.

With Cisco Quad, workers have the ability to search across all content within their organization, as well as locate people and expertise. Specifically, Quad integrates with content management systems such as Microsoft SharePoint and Documentum, as well as with voice and video business communications solutions including Cisco Unified Communications, Cisco WebEx conferencing, Cisco Unified Presence and Cisco Show and Share.

Cisco will also offer Mobile Quad applications optimized for the Apple iPad and iPhone.

Cisco Quad is currently in trials and is expected to be available on a limited basis, beginning in Cisco's first quarter of fiscal year 2011.

In addition, Cisco is releasing a new WebEx Connect IM app that lets users access their contact lists and send instant messages via a browser-based IM client, making the solution accessible from any computer, with any operating system, without the need for a client download. There is also a business-class four-hour Flip MinoPRO camcorder.

Nielsen's Three Screen Report Shows Flat Internet Video Trend in Q1

While the overall amount of video that Americans watch continues to rise, the amount of time spent watching online video decreased slightly in Q1 2010 compared to Q4 2009, according to the latest edition of The Nielsen Company's Three Screen Report.

Q1 2010 data shows that 138 million people watching video on the Internet spent on average 3 hours, 10 minutes during the month doing so. As of 1Q10 the 20.3 million people who watch mobile video in the US spend on average 3 hrs, 37 minutes each month watching video on a mobile phone.

Nielsen noted that high-speed broadband Internet access, now in 63.5% of homes, has created a better user experience for watching online videos. They are also continuing to simultaneously use the Internet while watching TV, with the average time spent doing both activities up 9.8% to 3 hours and 41 minutes.

Nielsen's latest Three Screen Report is available for download.

Cincinnati Bell Acquires CyrusOne Data Centers for $525 Million

Cincinnati Bell has acquired CyrusOne, one of the largest data center colocation operators in Texas, for approximately $525 million in cash. The deal was first announced in May.

The acquisition includes seven data centers in Houston, Dallas, and Austin with a total of 174,000 square feet of data center capacity. As a result, Cincinnati Bell's Technology Solutions segment will have a combined total of 620,000 square feet of data center capacity in 17 facilities, and, based on annualized first quarter 2010 results, combined operating income of approximately $56 million and adjusted earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization (Adjusted EBITDA1) of approximately $93 million.

"The acquisition of CyrusOne is an important step in our long-term strategy of becoming the preferred global data center colocation provider to Fortune 1000 companies," said Jack Cassidy, president and chief executive officer of Cincinnati Bell. "With more than 600,000 square feet of high quality data center space and almost $100 million of Adjusted EBITDA, we believe the combined data center business of Cincinnati Bell and CyrusOne makes us one of the largest data center companies in the U.S. and strongly positions us to help large enterprise customers manage their global data center requirements with highly cost-efficient and flexible solutions."

O2 Upgrades London Network with NSN

O2 has undertaken an upgrade of its network across London in partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks.

NSN said that it monitored and analyzed the data and signaling behavior of different smart devices connected to the O2 mobile network in order to gauge the impact of these devices on different network elements. This insight, combined with traffic growth forecasts, was used to establish a capacity improvement project, upgrading only the network elements and modules identified as bottlenecks for current and future performance within O2's London network.

The upgrade included enhancing the signaling capacity of the network as well as modernizing the network with Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio Base Stations. The companies said this recent deployment of 3G six-sector sites was recognized by Global Telecoms Business Innovation Awards 2010. The six-sector site deployment provides improved capacity resulting in the ability to carry significantly more voice and data calls in O2's network.
  • In February 2010, BT Wholesale was awarded a five year contract to consolidate O2's mobile and fixed core networks in the UK into one network running on top of BT's 21st Century Network (21CN) infrastructure. BT Wholesale already provides a range of services to O2 including core network management support for O2's mobile customers as well as a managed network service that is enabling O2 to serve the UK business market with fixed and broadband services. This new agreement will further ties between the companies. O2 is a division of Telefónica.

  • Telefónica O2 UK has 21.4 million mobile customers and over 600,000 fixed broadband customers as at 31 March 2010.

Nokia Siemens Networks Supplies DC-HSPA+ in Indonesia

PT Indosat Tbk, the second largest cellular operator in Indonesia, is upgrading its network in partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks. As part of the enhancement, Nokia Siemens Networks has provided its latest 3G network software to support up to 42 Mbps download speed. The vendor has deployed its SGSN to ensure effective traffic offload. In addition to this, the vendor has implemented Flexi Multiradio Base Station to facilitate a quicker migration to LTE.
  • In May 2010, Ericsson announced a contract with Indosat to modernize its network, including the deployment of Ericsson's HSPA Evolution technology, which is capable of reaching up to 42Mbps. Indosat is currently serving 39.1 million subscribers in Indonesia. As part of the agreement Ericsson will provide Indosat with its Radio Base Station (RBS) 6000, MSS Blade Cluster, and MINI-LINK TN. Network design, deployment, training and support services are also part of the agreement.

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.