Thursday, June 17, 2010

Broadcom to Acquire Innovision R&T for Near Field

Broadcom will acquire Innovision Research & Technology PLC, a UK-based company that specializes in near-field communication (NFC) technology, for approximately US$47.5 million based on current exchange rates. This offer represents a 84.2% premium above the closing price of Innovision common stock on June 17, 2010. Broadcom expects to close the acquisition of Innovision in the third quarter of 2010.

Microsoft Refocuses on Enterprise Handheld Devices

Microsoft announced several key investments in the enterprise handheld device market, including the Windows Embedded Handheld brand.

Windows Embedded Handheld is a new software platform that is scheduled to be released this calendar year and build on the Windows Mobile 6.5 platform with trusted management and security features, as well as enhanced protection for existing enterprise investments in LOB applications on devices.

OEMs will be able to adapt it for enterprise handheld devices for specific business uses. It will feature enhanced connectivity to Windows-based PCs, servers and enterprise services.

Windows Embedded will also continue to support developer tools used in building applications, including Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and Windows Forms.

An updated Windows Embedded Handheld platform based on Windows 7 technologies (Windows Embedded Compact 7) will be released in the second half of calendar year 2011. The platform will also enable new key scenarios through support for rich user interfaces and natural input.

IEEE Ratifies 802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet

The IEEE officially ratified the 802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet standard. This is the first IEEE standard to simultaneously specify two new Ethernet speeds, paving the way for the next generation of high-rate server connectivity and core switching.

The IEEE expects the new standard will further expand the 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet family of technologies by driving new development efforts, as well as providing new aggregation speeds that will enable 10 Gbps Ethernet network deployments. Work on this standard initially began in 2005.

An important note -- during the development of this standard the IEEE P802.3ba task force collaborated with the International Telecommunication Union's Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) Study Group 15 to ensures these new Ethernet rates are transportable over optical transport networks. This should help simplify the border between the LAN and the WAN, as well as support the rollout of better OTN solutions.

"Ubiquitous adoption of bandwidth-intensive technologies and applications, such as converged network services, video-on-demand, and social networking, is producing rapidly increasing demand for higher-rate throughput. As mass-market access to these technologies continues accelerating, coupled with today's progressively more powerful server architectures, data centers, network providers and end-users alike are finding themselves confronted by pressing bandwidth bottlenecks," said John D'Ambrosia, Chair, IEEE P802.3ba Task Force, and Director, Ethernet-based Standards, CTO Office, Force10 Networks.

In addition to providing an increased bandwidth pipeline, IEEE 802.3ba remains compatible with existing IEEE 802.3 installations, thereby preserving significant industry investment in the technology. The new standard is also expected to generate concrete benefits, such as lowered operating expense costs and improved energy efficiencies, by simplifying complex link aggregation schema commonly used in today's network architectures.
  • In March 2010, the IEEE has begun work on a new amendment to the 802.3 Ethernet standard to enhance the 40 Gbps Ethernet physical layer (PHY) capabilities already under development in the IEEE P802.3ba 40 Gbps and 100 Gbps Ethernet project. The project, which is known as IEEE P802.3bg, aims to provide multiple system operators and telecommunications operators with an IEEE 802.3 Ethernet 40 Gbps serial PHY that provides optical compatibility with existing carrier 40 Gbps client interfaces. It is sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society's Local and Metropolitan Area Networks Committee and will be developed by the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group.

Taiwan's HYA Cable Deploys Ericsson Head-End

Hsin Yeong An (HYA) Cable, a Taiwanese cable operator, has deployed a range of Ericsson cable head-end solutions, including video encoders, MX8400 multiplexers, and EdgeQAM modulators.
The Ericsson solution will enable HYA Cable to provide increased channel choice and HD programming. The Ericsson head-end has been integrated by the company's Taiwan business partner, Hitron Tech. HYA Cable is encoding HD and SD channels in MPEG-4 AVC.

Telstra and NSN achieve 100Mbps LTE at 75km using 2.6GHz

Telstra and Nokia Siemens Networks reported achieving peak LTE speeds of 100Mbps download and 31 Mbps upload over a record-breaking distance of 75 kilometers in a trial conducted in Victoria, Australia.

The two companies are testing the application of LTE in regional areas through a combination of laboratory and long range field testing to determine the limitations that physical distance imposes on the customer experience.

Michael Rocca, chief operations officer, said the range testing is of critical importance for the future of this technology in regional Australia and Telstra's learnings will be of great interest internationally.

The extended range field trial was conducted between Mount Hope and Mount Burrumboot in central Victoria by engineers from Telstra and Nokia Siemens Networks. The trial used Nokia Siemens Networks' commercially-available LTE-ready Flexi Multiradio Base Station and Evolved Packet Core (EPC), with pre-commercial LTE USB dongles from third-party vendors.

Kalevi Kostiainen, head of Nokia Siemens Networks, Australia and New Zealand said, "The outstanding results of this trial were made possible through close collaboration between Telstra and Nokia Siemens Networks. The benefits of LTE in urban environments are currently being deployed globally, having already been extensively tested and the business benefits well understood. Through this unique joint trial we can now see how LTE can be extended to provide cost effective solutions for rural and remote environments."

Agilent Supports Percello's Femtocell SoCs Test

Agilent Technologies' N7309A chipset software now supports high-volume manufacturing test for Percello's Aquilo Femtocell System-on-a-Chip (SoC) product line. The chipset software delivers rapid calibration and verification testing for the time-to-market/volume requirements of original design manufacturers and contract manufacturers.

Percello provides digital baseband solutions to address challenges of the 3G/HSDPA/HSUPA/HSPA+/LTE femtocell and picocell market: cost, power, level of integration, development time and flexibility.

FCC Task Force Looks at Satellite Spectrum for Mobile Broadband

As part of the National Broadband Plan, the FCC Spectrum Task Force is kicking off an initiative to increase value, utilization, and investment in mobile satellite service (MSS) bands. The first FCC proceeding has been scheduled for July, which could unleash up to 90 MHz of additional spectrum for mobile broadband, consistent with the National Broadband Plan recommendation to accelerate terrestrial deployment in the mobile satellite service band. The FCC said that by removing policies that are currently barriers to flexible use of terrestrial mobile wireless service, there is an opportunity to enable the deployment of mobile broadband, while retaining market-wide MSS capability, especially for public safety, rural services, and the federal government.

"The Spectrum Task Force has already begun executing the Commission's spectrum agenda, consistent
with the spectrum plan outlined in the National Broadband Plan," said Ruth Milkman, Co-Chair of the
Task Force. "Job number one is to make more spectrum available for flexible use, including terrestrial
mobile broadband."

Shortly after the broadband plan's release, the FCC approved the Harbinger-SkyTerra transaction, which will enable Harbinger to invest billions of dollars in building a 4G wireless network using spectrum that includes the MSS bands.

In May, the Commission adopted the WCS-SDARS Order, making 25 MHz of spectrum available for
mobile broadband services.
  • In March 2010, The FCC approved the transfer of control of SkyTerra to Harbinger Capital Partners.SkyTerra is building two new satellites for a next generation ancillary terrestrial network, which will offer ubiquitous mobile + satellite communications across North America for public safety, homeland security, aviation, transportation and entertainment. Dual-Mode handsets would work on both 700 MHz public safety terrestrial networks and on satellites when terrestrial networks are unavailable or inaccessible. The first of two SkyTerra next-generation satellites is planned for launch this year. Harbinger said it plans to use SkyTerra's spectrum in concert with its other investments in radio frequencies to implement an open next generation terrestrial network and mobile satellite system. The new network could lead to increased competition in mobile broadband services, a goal supported by the FCC's newly released National Broadband Plan.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

eircom Announces FTTH Trials

eircom is preparing to launch two open access FTTH trial for up to 10,000 residential and business customers in Wexford town and Sandyford, Co. Dublin. The FTTH will offer broadband speeds of up to 150 Mbps. Open access will be provided by eircom to any other operator who wishes to participate in the project.

eircomm plans to invest up to EUR 20 million in the project. Work is already underway with tenders issued to suppliers for a number of elements of the project. It is hoped that the first customers will be connected by early Spring 2011.

Tellabs 7100 Optical Transport System Gains RUS Acceptance

The Tellabs 7100 Optical Transport System (OTS) and its smaller version, the Tellabs 7100 Nano Optical Transport System, have gained RUS (Rural Utilities Service) acceptance by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This clears the products for use on projects funded by the Rural Telecom Infrastructure and by the Broadband Loan and Loan Guarantee Programs. In addition to the Tellabs 7100 OTS, the Tellabs 1000 and 1100 Multiservice Access Series and the Tellabs 8800 Multiservice Router also have RUS acceptance.

Huawei Launches New Metropolitan 40/100G OTN Platform

Huawei Technologies introduced its OSN8800 T16, a next-generation metropolitan OTN system with 640 Gbps system capacity and designed for efficient wavelength utilization in the transport of bandwidth-heavy services such as data, video, and storage.

The OSN8800 T16 offers 40G/100G transport with full-service cross-connection capabilities of ODUk wavelength and packet connections. The system capacity is upgradeable to 1.6 Tbps. Maintenance and service provisioning are similar to SDH. Additionally, the OSN8800 T16 is designed with photonics integrated device (PID) technology, achieving 120 Gbps capacity per card while significantly reducing power consumption and space requirements.

Christian Chua, President of Transport Network Product Line, Huawei, said, "Operators worldwide are focusing on how to achieve fast service rollouts for metropolitan transport, while coping with the impact of high traffic on their live networks. As part of Huawei' s All-IP convergence strategy, our OSN8800 T16 addresses these challenges with its advanced features and promises long-term customer benefits with its future-proof designs."

WiMAX Forum Publishes Femtocell Standard

The WiMAX Forum and the Femto Forum have published the first WiMAX femtocell standard. The specifications incorporate a security framework that allows WiMAX networks to support a large number of access points via standard commercial IPSec based security gateways. This phase of specifications also contains simple Self Organizing Network (SON) capabilities to allow automatic configuration of large numbers of femtocells. Future revisions will further enhance the SON capabilities to standardize automatic interference management between femtocells and macro base stations.

The standard also incorporates support for three usage models to support different deployment scenarios such as residential, enterprise and outdoor environments. The 'Open Model' allows the femtocell to operate like a normal WiMAX base station by allowing anyone to use the service; 'Closed Subscriber Group (CSG) Closed' allows a limited number of pre-allocated subscribers to use the femtocell. The 'Closed Subscriber Group (CSG) Open' extends the previous model to allow the subscriber to add users themselves.

The groups said the new standard will impact all elements of the WiMAX femtocell network including: the MS (Mobile Station), WFAP (WiMAX Femtocell Access Point), Security Gateway, Femto Gateway, SON Server, AAA Server, WFAP Management Server and other Core Service Network (CSN) functions.

BridgeWave Partners with Provigent on SoC for 4G Backhaul in 70/80 GHz

BridgeWave Communications is collaborating with Provigent, a System-on-a-Chip (SoC) designer, to develop a chipset that provides increased spectral efficiencies supporting multi-gigabit rates in up to 1 GHz RF channel bandwidth.

As part of this strategic cooperation BridgeWave will pay Non Recurring Engineering (NRE) to Provigent and Provigent will grant BridgeWave favorable terms.

The companies said this partnership supports Provigent's mission to provide advanced chipsets to the broadband wireless market and BridgeWave's mission to offer a complete set of backhaul solutions including edge and aggregation, utilizing the 70/80 GHz spectrum.

RadiSys Extends Convedia Media Servers with RFC 4117 SIP

RadiSys announced support of RFC 4117, a SIP-based interface for real-time transcoding services control, for the RadiSys' Convedia Media Server product family. RFC 4117 defines transcoding services between two SIP User Agents (UAs) using Third Party Call Control (3PCC), resulting in a simple yet effective interface for rapid transcoding application development.

In addition, RadiSys also announced a new Transcoding Processor Card (TPC-I) for the RadiSys Convedia CMS-9000 media server. The new Transcoding Processor Card (TPC-I) blade is hosted in a RadiSys Convedia CMS-9000 media server, and can work side-by-side in fully redundant configurations with existing media processing cards and system control cards in a CMS-9000 chassis.

Level 3 Offers Enhanced End-to-End Service Level Agreements

Level 3 Communications is now offering enhanced end-to-end service level agreements (SLAs) that simplify the contract process and provide a more complete performance guarantee. The company said its approach addresses the complex nature of SLAs in an environment where various fiber-optic network segments are often operated by multiple.

"We have seen strong customer demand for simpler end-to-end service level agreements, and this new initiative enables us to provide a complete solution to meet this demand," said Jeff Tench, president of Business Markets for Level 3.

JDSU Adds OTN to 100GE Test Suite

JDSU has added Optical Transport Network (OTN) capabilities to its 100GE test suite. The test platform now offers OTU3 (43GE) and OTU4 (112GE) test features to help transport Ethernet over longer distances for high speed networks.

Optical Transport Networks running on OTU3/4 add the framing, management layer and forward error correction (FEC) on top of Ethernet that is needed for longer distance transmission and for OTN management in a carrier network.

JDSU's fully comprehensive OTU3/4 feature set:

  • Provides overhead and payload manipulation as well as monitoring;

  • Complements the 40GE/100GE product lines to give complete test coverage;

  • Supports comprehensive test features for the new OTL (Optical Channel Transport Lane) layer; and;

  • Aligns with JDSU's existing, industry leading OTU1/2/3 products so customers can easily migrate to the faster speeds.

BT Signs 5-Year 21CN Contract with Alcatel-Lucent

Alcatel-Lucent signed a major five-year agreement with BT for an evolution of its 21st Century Network (21CN) that leverages the Alcatel-Lucent High Leverage Network (HLN) architecture. Specifically, Alcatel-Lucent will provide an end-to-end transport solution which tightly integrates IP and optical transport resources along with professional services such as project management, design, installation and commissioning, repair and return and software updates. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As part of the contract, Alcatel-Lucent will enhance its existing 7750 Service Router, which has been previously supplied to BT for its Etherflow service, to provide Broadband Subscriber Management in a distributed architecture. The contract also covers the deployment of the 1830 Photonic Service Switch. Additionally, the Alcatel-Lucent 1850 Transport Service Switch will be implemented for multiple traffic aggregation. The contract also leverages Alcatel-Lucent's professional services including performance management, design, network integration, installation and commissioning, repair and return and software updates.

BT is also evolving its residential IP service delivery architecture. Broadband Network Gateways (BNGs), previously centralized and becoming an increasing bottleneck in the network, will be distributed closer to subscribers using next generation service routers. This will result in an increase in capacity and performance creating a better end-user experience. Additionally, as the BNG function runs on the same routing platform as BT's business services, operations are streamlined and simplified for the operator.

"21CN is a huge transformational programme. It's about providing a network for the future which requires a game-changing approach," said George Nazi, managing director, BT 21CN Core Convergence.
  • In September 2009, Alcatel-Lucent outlined its Converged Backbone Transformation solution aimed at relieving the strain on service providers' core networks by optimizing the routing of IP packets over optical transport. Dramatic growth in Internet video traffic, along with a growing flood of IP-based business services, are increasing the strain on core routers -- through which nearly all traffic passes. Continually adding core router capacity is expensive, and as a result the network backbone is becoming a significant cost center.

    Alcatel-Lucent said its new Converged Backbone Transformation solution solves this problem by more tightly integrating IP and optical transport resources. This integration reduces the number of required network elements, improves efficiencies in power and rack space, simplifies network provisioning and fault management, and minimizes latency. Alcatel-Lucent accomplishes this by means of an intelligent control plane between the optical and IP layers, leveraging ASON and GMPLS technologies. The goal is to handle traffic at lowest layer via flexible grooming & IP offloading options. This enables IP packets to stay at the photonic layer for as long as possible throughout the transit to their destination, rather than being processed by intermediate core routers. Management Plane Integration across IP & optical domains would enable seamless network visibility and provisioning.

FCC Seeks Public Input on Regulatory Framework

The FCC voted 3-to-2 to open a new proceeding to identify the legal approach it should follow in regulating broadband. The Notice of Inquiry seeks public input to the challenge created by the Comcast court case. Options include pursuing a Title I regulatory path, a full Title II path, and a middle-ground solution -- the Third Way approach proposed by FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.

Specifically, the Notice of Inquiry asks the public to consider:

  • Whether the Commission's "information service" classification of broadband Internet service
    remains legally sound and adequate to support effective performance of the Commission's

  • The legal and practical consequences of classifying broadband Internet connectivity as a
    "telecommunications service" to which all the requirements of Title II of the Communications
    Act would apply; and

  • A "third way" under which the Commission would reaffirm that Internet content and applications
    remain generally unregulated under Title I of the Communications Act; identify the Internet
    connectivity service that is offered as part of wired broadband Internet service as a
    telecommunications service; and forbear under Section 10 of the Act from applying all provisions
    of Title II other than the small number that are needed to implement fundamental universal
    service, competition and market entry, and consumer protection policies.

The Notice also seeks comment on the appropriate classification of terrestrial wireless and satellite
broadband Internet services, as well other issues.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski stated "While the term 'Third Way' may be new to this debate, the model on which it is based is familiar. The Third Way is modeled on the highly successful deregulatory approach that the FCC has
2 used for almost 20 years for mobile voice services: application of a small number of Title II provisions,
with broad and reliable forbearance from all other provisions."

In rebuttal, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell state: "I disagree with the premise of this proceeding. Not only is the idea of classifying broadband Internet access as common carriage under Title II unnecessary, already it
has caused harm in the marketplace. As a threshold matter, classifying broadband as a Title II service is not necessary to implement the recommendations of the National Broadband Plan. The Comcast decision certainly does not affect our ability to reallocate spectrum, one of the central pillars of the Plan. Nor does the decision undermine our authority to reform our Universal Service program, the other major component of the Plan."

Telegent appoints Ford Tamer as CEO

Telegent Systems, which supplies silicon solutions for mobile TV devices, appointed Dr. Ford Tamer as its new CEO, replacing co-founder Samuel Sheng , who will resume his position of chief technology officer.

Tamer most recently has been a partner at Khosla Ventures, where he expanded the firm's cleantech efficiency practice. Prior to Khosla, Tamer served as senior vice president and general manager of Broadcom's Infrastructure Networking Group, which he grew to $1.2 billion in revenue in five years. Prior to Broadcom, Tamer was CEO and co-founder of Agere, a networking semiconductor company that was acquired by Lucent before being spun out as Agere Systems, where he served as vice president.

Telegent has shipped more than 80 million units of its mobile TV receiver for handsets since first introducing its technology in mid-2007.