Thursday, September 2, 2010

AT&T Extends Uverse with Pair Bonding, Vectoring

AT&T is extending its U-verse reach with technologies including pair bonding, "G-vectoring" and micronodes, writes John Donovan, AT&T's Chief Technology Officer, in a company blog.

Pair bonding uses two copper wire pairs (instead of one) for each customer. An iNID device is installed outside the home to connect these wires and improve the signal.

G-vectoring predicts interference over the copper wire and helps mitigate crosstalk that can degrade the signal.

Micronodes bring fiber closer to the home, reducing the distance required for copper and enhancing the effectiveness of other technologies. Donovan says this strategy also helps with "spectrum expansion," which broadens the useful range of the communications channel to create even more capacity.

Force10 Networks Opens New Innovation Center in Chennai, India

Force10 Networks, which is based in San Jose, California, formally unveiled its new Innovation Center, a 44,000-square-foot facility that houses its India headquarters, development lab and data center in The company has expanded its R&D and support teams in India some 50 percent since April 2010. Moreover, the company's India-based strategic partners, which have been engaged to augment the skill sets of Force10's Chennai team, have hired 80 engineers to carry out Force10's development work in India. As part of its ongoing growth strategy, Force10 expects to nearly double its engineering team again by 2011.

Participating in the traditional "lamp-lighting" inauguration ceremony were U.S. Consulate General Andrew Simkin, executives from high-tech firms Aricent Networks, Tata Communications, and Ixia, and Force10's Chennai employees.

China Telecom Americas Joins CENX Carrier Ethernet Exchange

China Telecom's North American subsidiary has joined the CENX Carrier Ethernet exchange. The initial connections are in CENX's New York and Los Angeles exchanges.

Interconnecting with other carriers via CENX brings seamless delivery of China Telecom's services and enables the creation of new business relationships. The CENX connection also enables US based service providers to efficiently reach businesses based in the US, China and the 73 other countries served by China Telecom.

FCC Advances USF Reform with NPRM

The FCC took another step toward reforming the Universal Service Fund (USF) by issuing an order and notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to facilitate the use of reclaimed excess high-cost support for the National Broadband Plan

Verizon Wireless and Sprint had previously agreed to relinquish certain high-cost USF payments as part of merger agreement approvals negotiated with the FCC. The proposed changes to the USF's E-rate program, which will be voted on later this month, would tap into these funds. The FCC said this will expand broadband opportunities for schools and libraries, providing more access and flexibility for these anchor institutions to empower teachers, and serve children and their communities..

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Alcatel-Lucent Selected for Submarine Cable Linking Angola to Brazil

eFive Telecoms, a South African telecommunications company, has selected Alcatel-Lucent to build a new submarine cable network linking the west coast of Africa to South America. The system will be composed of two trunks - the first one connecting South Africa to Angola and Nigeria, and the second trunk linking Angola to Brazil.

Alcatel-Lucent will manage the project end-to-end, including the system design, manufacturing, installation and commissioning. The system will also be maintained by Alcatel-Lucent through its Atlantic Private Maintenance Agreement (APMA) which currently covers over 100,000 km of critical submarine cable infrastructure from the west coast of Africa to the Caribbean and as far north as Greenland. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Yota Deploys 4G in Kazan

Russia's Yota has deployed a 4G network in Kazan, capital city of the Republic of Tatarstan. The citywide network was installed in just two months and a trial underway has shown speeds of up to 100 Mbps. Yota said it has invested $20 million in building the Kazan network, which covers the city's whole population of over one million people with 147 base stations.

Cisco to Acquire Arch Rock for Wireless Energy Sensors

Cisco agreed to acquire privately-held Arch Rock Corporation, a start-up based in San Francisco that develops IP wireless network sensors for smart-grid applications. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Arch Rock's HiNet architecture is a foundation for turning wireless sensing or metering points into IP- and web-enabled devices. The technology is designed to enable utilities to connect smart meters and other distributed intelligent devices over a scalable, highly secure, multi-way wireless mesh network based on IP standards. The company has been a lead contributor to the IETF 6LoWPAN (now RFC 4944) working group, which addresses wireless IPv6 communication over IEEE 802.15.4 low-power radios. Arch Rock was also the first company to launch the first product based on the standard.

Cisco said the deal will enable it to offer a highly secure advanced metering infrastructure solution based completely on IP standards.

"The acquisition of Arch Rock enhances Cisco's end-to-end smart-grid offerings and further positions Cisco as a strategic partner to utilities that want to better manage power supply and demand, improve the security and reliability of energy delivery, and optimize operational costs," said Laura Ipsen, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Smart Grid business unit. "Cisco's solutions, incorporating the Arch Rock technology, will help enable a more efficient and sustainable energy future that is based on an open, highly secure and reliable smart-grid infrastructure."

Arch Rock will become part of Cisco's industry-leading Smart Grid business unit.
  • Arch Rock was founded in 2006 and has received approximately $15 million in funding from NEA, Shasta Ventures and Intel Capital.

  • Arch Rock is headed by Roland Acra (President and CEO), who previously was President and CEO of Procket Networks, a high-end Core Internet Router manufacturer, which he successfully led to an acquisition by Cisco Systems in 2004.

  • Arch Rock's technical team includes Dr. David E. Culler (Co-Founder and CTO), who is a professor at UC Berkeley and the Principal Investigator of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Network Embedded Systems Technology project (DARPA NEST), which created an open platform for wireless sensor networks based on TinyOS; and Dr. Wei Hong (Co-Founder and VP Engineering), who previously was Senior Researcher and Principal Investigator at Intel Research Berkeley, where he led the sensor network project.

euNetworks Extends Low-Latency Net from London to Frankfurt

euNetworks launched a new ultra low latency route from London to Frankfurt. The company route is optimized for connectivity into Multilateral Trading Facilities (MTFs) and key data centers to support the bandwidth needs of financial clients.

euNetworks' euTrade service portfolio delivers connectivity between all major Stock Exchanges and clearing houses across Europe. Services within this portfolio range from dedicated fiber, to wavelengths and Ethernet based services.

Huawei Debuts "IDEOS" Android Phone with $150 Price

Huawei launched an entry-level, IDEOS smartphone powered by Android 2.2 (Froyo) and featuring a price point of between US$100 and US$200, depending on the market.

The phone features WCDMA + WiFi dual network support, and functions as a WiFi hotspot router for up to eight other devices. It boasts a 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen, a 3.2-megapixel camera, GPS, and a microSD slot. Huawei will offer several bright colors.

"We are proud to have already achieved our goal from early 2010 of developing a US$150 smartphone with an excellent user experience. The IDEOS is an affordable option, designed to lower barriers to entry to allow easy mobile Internet access."

BT Launches SIP Trunking Option

The BT Onevoice converged communications platform has been enhanced with SIP trunking in a number of countries, providing full connectivity between domestic country voice services and BT's Onevoice global VPN.

The service offers local numbering for both outgoing and incoming call traffic that can be delivered anywhere on a user's network. Already available in the UK, the services will be rolled out to the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, France and the US in the coming months, with further regions, including Spain, to follow. In addition, by utilizing SIP trunking, customers can reduce rental for access lines, reduce call costs, and improve collaboration for users, whether they be office based, on the move or based remotely.

In addition, BT OneVoice has gained global qualification for connecting directly to Office Communications Server 2007 R2. Office Communications Server 2007 R2 users can now streamline communications by combining presence and instant messaging interoperability with BT Onevoice conferencing, and software-powered voice over IP in a single, unified platform globally.

"SIP trunking gives customers the capability to introduce collaboration applications which increase productivity and save cost. The Microsoft qualification will open the door to further developments within the combined BT and Microsoft portfolio, creating a platform for innovation inside BT Onevoice all in a security-enhanced global environment," says Neil Sutton, Vice President, Global Portfolio, BT Global Services.

Tata Deploys Huawei's Mobile Softswitch in Mumbai

Tata Teleservices (Maharashtra) has deployed Huawei's MSC Pool solution in Mumbai to improve the performance, reliability and disaster resilience of network. The solution transformed three existing sets of CDMA mobile softswitches into one MSC Pool without having to make any modifications to other parts of the network.

In addition to gains in reliability, Huawei said its operator-controllable load balancing addresses the problem of unevenly distributed traffic loads in geographical areas, adjusting the ratio of subscriber quantity to traffic volume between the three MSC. This approach can reduce total network capacity demands by up to 20% and significantly reduce CAPEX.

Tata serves 1.5 million mobile subscribers in Mumbai.

XO Tests Infinera's Coherent 100G Transmission

Infinera and XO Communication have completed a field trial of 100 100G coherent transmission technology.

The tests, which ran over a 1348km route between Denver and Dallas on XO's network, used Infinera's new 500 Gigabit per second (500G) photonic integrated circuits (PICs), which each integrate five 100G channels. The fiber route is built with Infinera's 100G-ready ILS WDM line system, which provides scalable fiber capacity up to 8 Tbps.

During the field trial the ILS system was carrying 10G and 100G channels simultaneously. The 100G channel was transmitted using PM-QPSK modulation and coherent detection to enable error-free unrepeatered transmission over ultra-long haul distances.

Infinera believes this to be the world's first demonstration of 100G coherent transmission using fully integrated optical 500G PICs at both transmitter and receiver, including the use of integrated local oscillators in the PIC receiver.

"We are pleased to support development of Infinera's PIC-based 100G-based systems," said XO Communications Chief Technology Officer Randy Nicklas. "XO Communications looks forward to the increased capacity and superior efficiency we anticipate these 100G systems will deliver, as we work to meet growing bandwidth demands from our enterprise and wholesale service provider and mobile wireless customers."

"This trial marks an important milestone in our plan to deliver 100G communications and the next generation of multi-Terabit per second Digital Optical Networks based on 500G PICs," said Infinera CEO Tom Fallon. "We are confident that these new systems will become a disruptive force in the optical market, just as our 10G systems were when we introduced them in 2004."

Indonesia's TELKOM Converges IP and Optical Nets with ALU

PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia (TELKOM) is deploying Alcatel-Lucent's Converged Backbone Transformation (CBT) solution to simplify its network and upgrade its capacity. The Indonesian carrier has experienced a spike in broadband subscribers and traffic. Between the first quarter of 2009 and the first quarter of 2010, TELKOM saw the number of its fixed broadband subscribers grow by 79% and that of its mobile broadband users grow by 607%.

Under the project, Alcatel-Lucent will supply its next-generation 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS) powered with Wavelength Tracker and GMPLS control plane functionalities. This will be combined with Alcatel-Lucent Service Router IP/MPLS platform swith integrated Tuneable DWDM interfaces. Alcatel-Lucent will also provide TELKOM with technical supervision and training across the solution. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Alcatel-Lucent Completes First Call over LTE in Public Safety Band

Alcatel-Lucent has completed its first data call over LTE using Band 14 spectrum earmarked for public safety agencies in the United States. The FCC has designated 10 MHz of spectrum (paired 5 MHz carriers) in the upper 700 MHz band for Public Safety Broadband communications. This spectrum, together with the adjacent D block constitutes the 3GPP Band 14.

"This achievement represents an important step toward revolutionizing public safety networks as it establishes the readiness of LTE as a technology to enable broadband data applications," said Morgan Wright, Vice President, Global Public Safety Segment at Alcatel-Lucent. "This call also demonstrates Alcatel-Lucent's expertise in designing and deploying LTE solutions to address the unique needs of the public safety sector and marks an important milestone in support of the Public Safety solution that Alcatel-Lucent is delivering to this critical market."

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ciena Introduces Ultra Low Latency 1GbE and 10GbE Transponders

Ciena introduced ultra low latency 1GbE and 10GbE cards for its CN 4200 FlexSelect Advanced Services Platform.

Ciena's ultra low-latency solution includes 2RS 1GbE and Quad 10-T 10GbE transponders. The company is also offering latency-optimized line systems, featuring multiple options for optical amplifiers, regenerators and dispersion compensation to reduce latency across fiber spans.

Ultra-low latency network links are especially targeted at electronic trading applications. Ciena said it has signed up a variety of customers for its ultra-low latency solutions, ranging from a multi-billion dollar global investment banking, securities and investment management firm to multiple electronic trading firms. The customers are located in traditional global financial centers, such as New York, Chicago and London, as well as emerging trading hubs in Stockholm and Frankfurt.

Agilent Updates Wireless Signal Analyzers

Agilent Technologies
introduced eight new measurement applications for its PXA X-Series wireless signal analyzer and three new measurement applications have for its MXA and EXA signal analyzers. In addition, Agilent's LTE FDD, LTE TDD and EDGE Evolution applications have been updated with the following features:

  • new in-band emissions and spectrum flatness measurements with pre-set limit lines for UE transmitter conformance test;

  • new downlink transport layer decoding for PBCH, PCFICH, PDCCH and PDSCH channels;

  • new conformance EVM measurement optimized for measurement speed for manufacturing throughput; and

  • support for UE specific RS for LTE-TDD.

MegaPath + Covad + Speakeasy Merger Completed

Speakeasy, Covad Communications and MegaPath have been combined into a single company, creating a next generation Managed Services Local Exchange Carrier (MSLEC) with more than 85,000 business customers and over 4,500 partners throughout North America. The new company, which is called MegaPath, is privately held by a group of investors, including the primary investor, Platinum Equity. Best Buy is also an investor in the combined business.

MegaPath, which operates a nationwide MPLS network, offers hosted and integrated voice services; VPN and MPLS service; business-class broadband from DSL up to 15 Mbps, as well as T1 and bonded T1 and business Ethernet at up to 20 Mbps over copper.

CableLabs Issues 3D Content Encoding Spec

CableLabs published a new Content Encoding Profiles 3.0 Specification that provides exact requirements for formatting or "panelizing" 3D content into a frame-compatible format for use by cable television systems.

"This spec release marks a great step in the commercialization of 3D TV because it is the first public specification that fully describes the coding and signaling for these top-and-bottom and side-by-side 3D video formats," said Tony Werner, CTO of Comcast.

FCC Seeks Comments on Preserving the Open Internet

The FCC is seeking public comment on two issues related to Preserving the Open Internet.

The first is the relationship between open Internet protections and services that are provided over the same last-mile facilities as broadband Internet access service (commonly called "managed" or "specialized" services). The FCC is concerned that Open Internet protections may be weakened if broadband providers offer specialized services that are substantially similar to, but do not technically meet the definition of, broadband Internet access service, and if consumer protections do not apply to such services. The Open Internet might also be threatened if broadband providers fail to continue expanding the network capacity allocated to broadband Internet access service in order to provide more capacity for specialized services.

The second is the application of open Internet rules to mobile wireless Internet access services, which have unique
characteristics related to technology, associated application and device markets, and consumer usage. Specifically, the FCC is seeking comment on "how, to what extent, and when" openness principles should apply to mobile wireless platforms, with a particular emphasis on furthering innovation, private investment, competition, and freedom of expression.

Apple TV Streams at 720p

The new $99 Apple TV box streams TV shows and movies via iTunes at 720p, with TV content initially available from ABC, ABC Family, Fox, Disney Channel and BBC America. It also streams content from Netflix, YouTube, Flickr and MobileMe, as well as music, photos and videos from PCs and Macs.

Tech specs include:

  • A4 processor

  • HDMI

  • 802.11n Wi-Fi

  • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet

  • Built-in IR receiver