Thursday, September 16, 2010

Huawei Wins Contract with Kenya's Safaricom

Huawei announced a contract to supply its convergent billing solution to Kenya's Safaricom. The solution supports various infrastructure networks and services and provides online rating, real-time control and express billing, thus greatly shortening time to market. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The deal represents Huawei's first CBS sale in Africa. The solution has been deployed by China Mobile, China Telecom, Vodafone, ETEtisalat, MTN, and KPN/Telfort, among others.

TDC Sells its Sunrise Share in Switzerland

TDC will sell Sunrise Communications, its subsidiary in Switzerland, to CVC Capital Partners for CHF 3.3 billion. TDC held Sunrise for nearly ten years during which Sunrise.

Sunrise is the leading challenger to Swisscom and currently has 2.86 million customers. It operates an HSPA network with coverage across Switzerland and a fiber optic network with a total length of 10,000 km.

BT Promises Fibre Upgrade for Bundle Customers

BT Retail will offer a fibre upgrade to customers who take a broadband + calling bundle. The upgrade would be provided as soon as FTTH is available in their area.

BT has previously announced plans to bring fibre broadband to two thirds of UK premises by 2015. The company said it is already making significant progress with its rollout and is now making the service available to the equivalent of the number of premises in Singapore every quarter.

John Petter, managing director of BT's Consumer division, said: "Fibre is the future of broadband and BT is raising the speed and standard for customers nationwide. BT Infinity is head and shoulders above other services when it comes to value. We are the only company offering you an upgrade to fibre for no extra monthly cost and the only company to offer free line installation across all new bundles."

Bharti Airtel Picks IBM for African Network Integration

Bharti Airtel has selected IBM to manage the computing technology and services that power its mobile communications network spanning 16 African countries.

Bharti Airtel aims to scale its network and systems to more than 100 million African customers by 2012. n June 2010, Bharti Airtel acquired Zain's mobile operations in 15 countries across Africa for an enterprise valuation of US$10.7 billion. These networks had a total customer base of over 42 million.
The total population base covered is over 450 million with telecom penetration of approximately 32%. The countries in which Bharti has acquired the operations are - Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo Brazzaville, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. Zain is the market leader in 10 of the 15 countries and second in 4 countries. In August, Bharti Airtel announced plans to acquire 100% of Telecom Seychelles, the incumbent operator of Seychelles, for US$62 million. This gives the company a presence in 16 African countries.

Under the new managed services contract, IBM will deploy and manage state-of-the-art information technology infrastructure and applications to support Bharti Airtel's goal of bringing affordable and innovative mobile services to remote locations in Africa. In addition, IBM will deploy advanced technologies created by IBM Research, including the Spoken Web -- a voice-enabled Internet technology that allows users to access and share information simply by talking over an existing telephone. The companies are finalizing the contract and financial terms were not disclosed.

IBM will provide customer support applications that include customer relationship management, billing and self-care for 2G and 3G services. In addition, IBM plans to deploy a powerful content management system to offer rich media content such as music and video over mobile devices, while simultaneously facilitating the growth of the application developer community in Africa.

Sumitomo Electric 40GbE Optical Transceiver to 40km

Sumitomo Electric Industries introduced a 40GbE optical transceiver with a 40km reach. The device complies with the CFP Multi-Source Agreement (MSA) hardware and software specification and is capable of supporting 40km link distance over standard single mode fiber.

Sumitomo Electric has already released the 40GbE CFP optical transceiver for 10km reach and in addition, developed the world's first 40GbE CFP for 40km reach by using a high speed 4-wavelength Corse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) laser diode for the optical transmitter and a high speed avalanche photo diode for the optical receiver. Maximum power consumption is compliant with CFP MSA power class 1 (8W max.) and it is the same value as the 40GbE CFP for 10km reach.

Sumitomo Electric is planning to start shipping 40GbE CFP samples for 40km reach in the 1st quarter of 2011 and mass production is planned for the 4th quarter of 2011.

NeoPhotonics Releases 100G Integrated Coherent Receiver (ICR)

NeoPhotonics announced general availability of its Integrated Coherent Receiver (ICR) for 100 Gbps DWDM transmission systems. The ICR is an integrated intradyne receiver based on NeoPhotonics' Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) technology.

NeoPhotonics said its ICR supports the requirements of the OIF Implementation Agreement on 100G Integrated Polarization Intradyne Coherent Receivers. The device provides advanced demodulation to analyze the state-of-polarization and optical phase of a phase-modulated signal relative to an externally supplied optical reference, enabling recovery of the phase-polarization constellation of 100 Gbps Dual Polarization Quadrature Phase Shift Keyed (DP-DQPSK) format signals. The ICR incorporates four sets of high sensitivity balanced photodiodes with four differential linear amplifiers to provide four output channels at 32 Gbaud data rates.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Oclaro Delivers 100Gbps LLiNbO3 Modulators

Oclaro has extended its 100 Gbps portfolio with new LiNbO3 "PM100" modulators. The PM100 modulator supports the generally accepted Dual Polarization-QPSK modulation scheme; each of four parallel MZI's running at speeds of up to 32 Gbaud.

Oclaro said the very advanced, spectrally efficient QPSK modulation format, combined with the polarization multiplexing scheme, guarantees compatibility with 50 GHz optical channel spacing and more than doubles the capacities of conventional 40G transmission.

The PM100 modulators are sampling today to customers and general availability is expected in early 2011.

"This announcement demonstrates Oclaro's continued commitment to support the most advanced telecom applications and also highlights the success behind our recent investments in ClariPhy and Mintera," said Adam Price, Executive Vice President and Division Manager at Oclaro.

Motorola Acquires Aloqa for Context Aware LBS

Motorola acquired Aloqa GmbH, a privately-held, leading developer of location-based software and technologies, for an undisclosed sum.

Aloqa will become part of Motorola Mobility, which is comprised of Motorola's Mobile Devices and Home businesses. Motorola Mobility is expected to be spun off from Motorola, Inc. in the first quarter of 2011.

Aloqa uses a user's context (location, identity and social relationships) to proactively inform them of places, events, bargains and other opportunities of which they may choose to take advantage. Essentially, it is a location-triggered mobile push platform to connect users and publishers of location-aware content in real-time.

Aloqa, which is based in M√ľnchen, Germany, claims a global user base of one million users.

Motorola said Aloqa will enhance its "MOTOBLUR", which delivers customized content to mobile device homescreens and allows users to access Facebook, MySpace and Twitter updates -- along with emails, news and favorite apps and widgets -- all in one place.

Colt Tests 100 Gigabit Ethernet Client Services with Infinera

Colt has completed a field trial of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) services using Infinera systems in London and Frankfurt. The 100GbE service was passed over the 861 kilometer route from London to Frankfurt on Colt's low latency network. Testing and verification of the transmission were performed with an EXFO FTB-85 100 Gbps Packet Blazer tester.
The prototype Infinera 100GbE interfaces are fully compliant with the new IEEE 802.3ba standard.

Infinera noted that its next generation of Infinera PICs will have data capacity of 500 Gbps.

"We were pleased to work with Infinera on the first trial of this equipment in Europe. It is important that we support the development of next generation optical transport technologies that will allow us to meet customer demand for very high speed Ethernet services," stated Colt's Chief Technology Officer, Luke Broome.
  • Earlier this month, Infinera and XO Communication announced the completion of 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.

KPN Extends iTV Service Contract with NSN

KPN has extended an iTV service contract with Nokia Siemens Networks until 2012. The deal includes middleware, encoders, video on demand, encryption, set-top boxes and PC clients. As the sole iTV supplier to KPN, Nokia Siemens Networks will maintain and develop the solution and help to drive enhancements to subscribers' TV experience as a crucial part of KPN's market strategy. KPN has used an NSN iTV solution since 2006.

Nokia Siemens Networks is providing KPN with a complete next-generation iTV solution with advanced capabilities, including high-definition TV, video-on-demand, and "timeshift" TV viewing (pausing, recording or rewinding of live TV programs). Nokia Siemens Networks will have sole responsibility for the customization and integration of the iTV solution into KPN's current network.

AT&T Looks to LTE Opportunities in Enterprise and Consumer

There are tremendous opportunities popping up in both the consumer and enterprise sectors thanks to the mobilization of broadband, said John Stankey, President & CEO of AT&T Business Solutions, speaking at Bank of America Merrill Lynch's 2010 Media, Communications & Entertainment Conference.

He confirmed the mobile data traffic surge on the AT&T network: 5,000% wireless data increase over the past 3 years, 30 million 3G devices now on the network, average smartphone usage up 40% this year. Meanwhile, wireless data revenue is up 27% this year. A significant turning point for the industry occurred, he said, when AT&T changed its pricing structure from flat fee to account for actual mobile usage.

Some notes from the presentation:

  • AT&T is making significant improvements to its network infrastructure whether measured in the number of new cell sites, expansion of the 3G footprint or new backhaul capacity. The network is still strained in a number of geographic markets but Stankey said the company is working hard to fix this issues with additional towers, carriers or Wi-Fi, but one of the constraining factors has been the time it takes to work with landlords and municipalities.

  • There has been a $2 billion increase in wireless CAPEX this year.

  • AT&T has seen some supplier shortages. The company said the backlog has grown to $300 million in equipment that it wants deployed right now but which is not yet available from suppliers.

  • An aggressive upgrade of the backhaul program.

  • AT&T wants to enter the LTE market at the "sweet spot", when the device and the network are both ready for a solid customer experience.

  • LTE tests are underway in Dallas and Baltimore.

  • AT&T will continue to upgrade its 3G network with faster HSPA and HSPA+.

  • AT&T is pursuing a Service Delivery Approach, offering APIs that let enterprise developers build applications that leverage is core network and its cloud computing infrastructure. In the consumer space, the company's U-verse Mobile application is an example of an application that ties into the infrastructure and into the cloud.

  • LTE will be as much about Enterprises as well as Consumers. The key to this will be extending wireline enterprise VPNS into the LTE network. This will mobilize enterprise applications. The LTE network is being designed to integrate with the company's enterprise services.

  • Another initiative is to improve the company's cost structure by unifying product sets and simplifying the customer experience.

TI to Repurchase Stock, Increase Dividend

Texas Instruments plans to repurchase an additional $7.5 billion of its common stock, in addition to the $1.3 billion in repurchase authorizations remaining at the end of June 2010. Additionally, the company plans to raise its quarterly cash dividend $0.01 per common share. TI's new quarterly dividend will be $0.13 per share of common stock, resulting in annual dividend payments of $0.52 per common share.

TI noted that its Board has authorized the repurchase of $27.5 billion of stock since September 2004. The company has reduced the number of its shares outstanding by 533 million shares, or 31 percent, from September 2004 through June 2010.

AT&T to Promote Samsung Galaxy Tablet

AT&T confirmed plans to offer the new Samsung Galaxy Tablet for the holiday season.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is powered by Android 2.2 and touts a 7-inch enhanced TFT touch screen, 1Ghz Hummingbird application processor, support for Adobe Flash® Player 10.1 and Media Hub, which is Samsung's own content service for films and TV programming. It also features Samsung Social Hub and dual cameras.

The AT&T-powered Samsung Galaxy Tab will also feature AT&T Connection Manager, which automatically connects users to AT&T Wi-Fi Hot Spots to better manage data usage. AT&T customers will also have access to the entire AT&T national Wi-Fi network.

AT&T will sell the Galaxy Tab in its company owned retail stores and online at in the coming months with other distribution partners to be announced at launch. Pricing for the tablet and AT&T data plan options will also be announced closer to the launch date.

IBM Integrates Wireless into Power-Management Chip

IBM announced a silicon process breakthrough that integrates wireless communications into a single power-management chip, a first that can cut production costs by about 20% while allow chip designers and manufacturers to create a new class of semiconductors. IBM foresees ultra-small and wirelessly enabled chips that control power usage in "smart" buildings, energy grids and transportation systems.

IBM's wireless power management technology will use 180nm lithography to create advanced power-optimizing chips. IBM is rolling out the new chip-making process to manufacturers in the consumer electronics, industrial, automotive, digital media and alternative-energy segments. The company's semiconductor plant in Burlington Vt., will be the primary manufacturing location for the new technology. IBM is already accepting designs from customers and is scheduling full production for the first half of 2011.

Dell'Oro: Wireless LAN Revenues Jump to Record Level

Worldwide Wireless LAN (WLAN) market revenues grew 28 percent in the second quarter of 2010 over the same period last year, establishing record high levels for the small office, home office (SOHO) and Enterprise segments, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group.

According to the report, each of the following WLAN vendors posted sequential revenue gains of more than 15 percent during the second quarter of this year: Aruba, Extreme, Technicolor, and ZyXEL.

"The SOHO market showed impressive quarter to quarter strength, overcoming component shortages in the Broadband CPE with WLAN category," stated Loren Shalinsky, Senior Analyst of Wireless LAN research at Dell'Oro Group. "Wireless routers unit shipments were seasonally down, but higher than anticipated. We now expect SOHO unit shipments to rise 15 percent in 2010 over last year as a result of these strong first-half results. The Enterprise market showed continued strength, as it has now grown five straight quarters since the trough of the recession in the first quarter of 2009. Aruba, Extreme, Meru, and Xirrus all had record enterprise revenues for the quarter, as healthcare, education, and general enterprise companies continue to derive benefit from the use of Wireless LAN," added Shalinsky.

Calix to Acquire Occam, Reshaping Network Access Market

Calix will acquire Occam Networks in a stock and cash deal valued at approximately $171 million, which is approximately $7.75 per outstanding share of Occam Networks stock.

The merger brings together two leading suppliers of broadband network access systems for North America, the Caribbean, Latin America, and select global markets. The joint portfolio is expected to result in more access options over both fiber and copper for communications service providers to deploy, which could expedite the proliferation of advanced broadband services to both residential and business subscribers, including such services as high-speed Internet, IPTV, VOIP, Ethernet business services, and other advanced broadband applications.

Occam Networks, which is based in Santa Barbara, California, is known for its BLC 6000 multiservice access platform (MSAP), which leverages an integrated Ethernet backplane and Intelligent Blade Interconnect Architecture. Blades are used to deliver a wide array of services from copper, Gigabit Ethernet FTTP and GPON Triple Play residential services to MEF-certified carrier E-Line and E-LAN business services. In addition to service delivery, the blades provide wire speed Ethernet switching with multiple Gigabit Ethernet and 1 0Gigabit Ethernet ports that are used for blade interconnection, traffic aggregation and network transport. The company has shipped over three million BLC 6000 ports to over 380 service providers. In addition, its product portfolio includes optical network terminals and remote terminal cabinets. Occam's revenue for the second quarter of 2010 was $23.8 million.

Calix, which is based in Petaluma, California, also specializes in network access solutions. Its portfolio includes the EXA Powered C7 Multiservice Access Platform, which integrates legacy services and advanced access technologies with 10GE Ethernet and OC48 SONET transport. Its E-Series Multiservice Ethernet product is a smaller platform allows any mix of GPON, Active Ethernet, 10GE, and GE services. The company also offers its P-Series of optical network terminals (ONTs) for residential and business services, as well as business and mobile backhaul applications. It recently introduced a new Ethernet Service Access Node (ESAN) for offering VDSL2 services at remote nodes. Calix reported Q2 revenue of $71.7 million, an increase of 50% from revenue reported for the second quarter of 2009 of $47.8 million.

In a conference call, the companies said their short term objectives include integrating Occam's BLC into the Calix unified access portfolio, enabling the platform to run side-by-side on the same Ethernet rings and integrated into the same management system. The ONT products will be combined so as to offer the widest selection in the industry, and the portfolio will be enhanced to support a wider range of voice protocols.

"The rate of change is accelerating for communications service providers, and Calix is fully committed to providing our customers with the broadest portfolio of innovative access network options to adapt to this changing world," said Carl Russo, president and chief executive officer of Calix. "By combining Occam Networks' expertise in IP and Ethernet, Calix's strength in fiber access, and both companies' experience in copper access, we believe there is a clear opportunity to further enhance the Calix Unified Access portfolio, accelerate its future innovation, and enable greater broadband deployment by communications service providers globally."

Calix expects to complete the acquisition in the fourth quarter of 2010 or first quarter of 2011, subject to Occam Networks stockholder approval, receipt of required regulatory clearance and the satisfaction of certain other customary closing conditions.
  • Calix complete its initial public offering in March 2010.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fujitsu Shows Improved Wireless Charging System

Fujitsu Laboratories has demonstrated a wireless recharging technology that enables the design of magnetic resonance-based wireless charging systems that can simultaneously recharge various types of portable electronic devices. Fujitsu said its technology promises more compact and more efficient power transmitters and receivers for mobile phones, digital cameras, notebook computers, and other portable electronics.

Fujitsu said electromagnetic induction has been often used for wireless charging, however the method only works over short distances, and the power transmitter and power receiver need to be in alignment. By contrast, magnetic resonance, which was first proposed in 2006, uses a coil and capacitor as a resonator, transmitting electricity through the magnetic resonance between the power transmitter and power receiver. This method can transmit electricity over a range of up to several meters, and because a single transmitter can power multiple receiving devices, developments are under way for a broad range of potential applications, charging everything from portable electronics to electric cars.

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technology that dramatically shortens the time required to design transmitters and receivers for magnetic resonance charging systems and, in addition, enables accurate tuning of resonant conditions in the design phase, even for compact transmitters and receivers that are prone to influences from nearby metallic and magnetic objects.

SiTime Introduces First kHz Frequency Silicon MEMS Oscillator

SiTime introduced the industry's first kHz frequency silicon MEMS oscillator for audio, microcontroller and high reliability industrial applications. The Sunnyvale, California-based company already offers a portfolio of Silicon MEMS-based, megahertz (MHz) frequency, differential oscillators, clock generators, VCXOs, spread spectrum timing products and embedded resonators.

The new SiT8503 offers programmable support for any frequency between 200 kHz and 1000 kHz (with accuracy up to 5 decimal places), which supports a wide range of applications and allows the customer to optimize the frequency for their application. The device supports configurable operating voltages of 1.8V, 2.5V, 2.8V or 3.3V eliminating the need for expensive, external, level translators. Like SiTime's' other MEMS products, the device offers extreme ruggedness with shock resistance of up to 50,000 G and vibration resistance of up to 70 G.

"The SiT8503 leverages its silicon MEMS technology and programmable architecture to offer many unique features that are not available from quartz, such as frequency and voltage configurability, small size, low power and extreme ruggedness," said Piyush Sevalia, vice president of marketing at SiTime. "SiTime's growing customer base is rapidly replacing their quartz oscillators with Silicon MEMS solutions. In addition, our industry-leading portfolio of silicon timing solutions is enabling us to become a strategic supplier of timing components to
large OEMs worldwide."

Cisco Intends to Issue Dividend

Cisco announced plans to issue a dividend during the current fiscal year ending July 30, 2011. Specifics were not disclosed. Cisco said it intends to provide shareholders with "a guaranteed dividend yield to complement Cisco's long term growth opportunity."

GigOptix Samples Dual Channel SMT 100G Driver

GigOptix has begun sampling its new dual channel Surface Mounted Technology (SMT) GX62255 8Vpp Mach-Zehnder Modulator (MZM) driver designed for use in 100G optical transponders. The SMT device integrates two 32Gb/s 8Vpp driver channels into a single small form factor solution. A 100G transponder requires four drivers, while GigOptix' highly integrated dual channel solution significantly reduces both the area needed to implement the driver section and the Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) within the system. Each 100G transponder uses two GX62255 devices to amplify the data signals from the transmitter's multiplexer to drive the optical MZM.

GigOptix said its GX62255 is specifically designed to interface easily with industry standard 100G DP-QPSK MZMs, providing optimal signal coupling.