Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Verizon Wireless Reaffirms Open Networks

Verizon Wireless reaffirmed its commitment to help developers deliver applications to market by continuing to open its network to them with APIs and other tools and services. At the company's Developers Community Conference in Las Vegas, Verizon Wireless also outlined the progress of V CAST Apps, its mobile storefront, and said that it is expanding V CAST Apps to additional platforms, beginning with Android devices.

Verizon Wireless said it has more than 5,000 developers in its community.

Verizon Wireless has published an LTE Application Developer's Guide with guidelines to the open access environment. v

The V CAST Apps storefront launched earlier this year on the RIM platform, and submissions are now being accepted for Android-based applications in V CAST Apps. V CAST Apps offers developers speedy time-to-market and carrier-billing, so any charges for the applications appear on the customer's monthly wireless bill.

France Telecom Buys 40% of Morocco's Médi Télécom

France Telecom confirmed its intention to acquire an initial stake of 40% in Médi Télécom, Morocco's second largest telecoms operator with licenses for fixed, mobile and 3G. The deal is valued at 640 million euros.

Médi Télécom claims over 10 million mobile subscribers and a market share of 37%. It has published sales of over 5.3 billion dirham (465 million euros) in 2009 with an EBITDA margin of 40% and an operational cash-flow of around 1.4 billion dirham (131 million euros).

Stéphane Richard, France Telecom's CEO, said "The acquisition of this stake in Médi Télécom is the first concrete step in our new policy of expansion outside Europe, and contributes to our stated aim of doubling our revenues in Africa and the Middle-East over the next five years. I am delighted to contribute to this strategic partnership, which can only strengthen Médi Télécom's profile as a dynamic and solid company."http://www.francetelecom.com
  • In July 2010, France Telecom-Orange announced a five year strategic plan to transform its corporate culture and conquer new markets and new business opportunities in the coming digital economy of billions of interconnected devices. The plans were disclosed by Stephane Richard, underscored opportunities in Africa and the Middle East.

Metaswitch Reports Accelerating Trends

Metaswitch Networks' overall revenue grew 33 percent from £62.0 million to £82.4 million (or 18 percent growth in U.S. dollar terms, from $113.7 million to $134.5 million) for the financial year ending 31-August-2010, with pro-forma EBITDA margins sustained at 20 percent.

The company cited significant customer growth in both the North American market and several key international markets, as well as by the successful acquisition and integration of AppTrigger, leading to the addition of the Metaswitch Service Broker product line.

"Metaswitch has enjoyed another year of significant growth in all areas while increasing the depth and breadth of our customer relationships and continuing our commitment to engineering excellence," said Kevin DeNuccio, Metaswitch CEO. "Over the next 12 to 18 months, we'll continue our focus on expanding our footprint into new international markets and bringing innovative new products to market as the trusted architects of next-generation voice networks."

Some other news items from the Metaswitch Forum 2010 being hosted in Orlando, Florida this week:

Telecom Argentina has selected Metaswitch's MetaSphere platform to deliver a fully-featured SIP Trunking and Hosted PBX service to enterprise customers. Telecom Argentina currently serves over 20 million lines in Buenos Aires and the northern part of the country.

Metaswitch Networks and CounterPath Corp. have entered into a joint development and marketing alliance to offer enhanced unified communications capabilities that extend voice, video and messaging services to desktop PCs and mobile devices. CounterPath's product suite includes SIP-based softphones, server applications and Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) solutions. More than 250 service providers have already deployed Metaswitch's VoIP application server, MetaSphere, together with CounterPath softphones.

Cincinnati Bell has deployed Metaswitch Media Gateways and MetaSphere Call Feature Servers to both streamline and optimize the company's three-state network. By deploying Metaswitch, the company has been able to reduce the cost of tandem switching, optimize traffic routing and improve the overall cost-efficiency of their network infrastructure.

CenturyLink and Qwest Receive Merger Approvals

CenturyLink and Qwest Communications have received approval of their pending merger from nine states, as well as antitrust clearance from the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. The companies still require approval from 12 additional states, as well as the Federal Communications Commission, and expect the deal to close during the first half of 2011. Their shareholders have already approved the merger.
  • In July 2009, CenturyTel merged with EMBARQ, the former wireline division of Sprint.. EMBARQ, which was formerly Sprint's Local Telecommunications Division (spun out as an independent company in 2006). At the time this deal was announced, the transaction reflected an enterprise value of approximately $11.6 billion for Embarq, including the assumption of $5.8 billion of EMBARQ's debt. And at the time, Embarq had 5.8 million local phone lines and 1.4 million DSL customers.

JetBlue Picks ViaSat for Inflight Broadband

JetBlue Airways has selected ViaSat's Ka-band satellite technology for inflight broadband JetBlue's fleet of more than 160 aircraft. Under the arrangement, ViaSat will provide Ka-band antenna components and SurfBeam2 modems for installation on the airline's EMBRAER E190 and Airbus A320 aircraft types along with two-way transmission bandwidth services using the WildBlue-1 and high-capacity ViaSat-1 satellites.
JetBlue subsidiary, LiveTV LLC, will manage the integration of the ViaSat broadband and related components onboard the aircraft as well as providing the Wi-Fi enabled services into the overall cabin experience. Because the product will be the first of its kind for commercial aviation, the system must be tested, and certificated by the Federal Aviation Administration, prior to installation fleet-wide. The companies said they expect the first installations to occur by mid-2012.

RADCOM Offers LTE Analyzer

RADCOM announced the release of its eDiamond LTE Smart Analyzer. The platform provides an end-to-end view of network performance and correlates information detected in the different networks into one display, as well as drilling down to root cause analysis.

"We believe RADCOM's recent successes in monitoring data and smartphones have equipped us for success in LTE too." said Eyal Harari- RADCOM's VP Products and Marketing. "Our expansion to the area of LTE, as well as the positioning of this product for manufacturers, not only operators, is a natural vertical expansion for RADCOM." http://www.RADCOM.com

Russia's MegaFon Demos LTE with NSN

MegaFon, Russia's largest network operator, together with Nokia Siemens Networks, showcased a next generation mobile broadband (4G) data call at the IX International Investment Forum Sochi 2010. The call demonstrated peak rates of up to 100 Mbps. It was conducted using Nokia Siemens Networks' Flexi Multiradio Base Station, along with Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network elements Flexi NS (Networks Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway) with unique 4D scaling. Nokia Siemens Networks also provided the necessary network planning, installation and integration for the solution showcase.

Cisco Releases Small Business Products

Cisco made a number of product announcements aimed at the small business market.
Highlights include:

Cisco 300 Series Managed Switches -- a new generation of low-cost, energy-efficient managed switches that save up to 74 percent on power; offer enhanced quality of service and security features, globalization support for languages, a lifetime warranty and advanced replacement options.

Three new IP phones and a new desktop administration tool -- with these new additions, Cisco is now offering HD voice (wide-band audio) across the Cisco Small Business IP Phone portfolio. The IP phones are designed for the Cisco Unified Communications 500 Series and hosted IP telephony systems. One model is a Bluetooth-enabled, wireless IP phone with Mobile Link, a feature that pairs with a mobile phone to allow the smooth transfer of calls back and forth, plus the import of contacts wirelessly.

Cisco Advanced Video Monitoring System (AVMS) software -- which offers high-quality monitoring and control with advanced analytics for video surveillance deployments of up to 64 cameras. By adding licenses, the business can detect motion, receive alerts if items appear, disappear or move, and integrate video cameras and point-of-sale equipment.

The Cisco VC 220 Dome IP Video Camera -- which provides high image quality in bright and low lighting conditions.

The Cisco VC 240 Bullet IP Video Camera -- which also provides outstanding image quality as well as weatherproof housing, making it ideal for outdoor environment.

ADVA Optical Adds Security Suite to FSP 3000 Platform

ADVA Optical Networking has enhanced its flagship FSP 3000 platform with a security suite that adds low-latency encryption, in-service fiber plant monitoring and security-hardened management capabilities.

The encryption capabilities address the threat posed by the development of more sophisticated fiber-tapping and intrusion technologies. The integrated FSP 3000 encryption solution offers physical layer encryption, which operates at wire speed and keeps latency at its lowest levels. ADVA Optical Networking's implementation utilizes Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption technology and uses the Diffie-Hellman algorithm for automatic key exchange, both of which provide the highest levels of security.

The FSP 3000 platform also gains integrated optical line monitoring capabilities, which provide real-time analysis of the power readings from the optical link. These capabilities help detect fiber breaks or bends and identify security issues such as illegal fiber taps that jeopardize the integrity of mission-critical data.

ADVA is also introducing a security-hardened software architecture to protect the network operator against malicious intrusion attempts that target the command-and-control function of the network element.

"Information increasingly defines the core of every business; to compromise data is to lose the trust of your customers," stated Christoph Glingener, ADVA Optical Networking's chief technology officer. "The new security features of our FSP 3000 platform provide private enterprises a solution to secure the transport of data between data centers, optimizing security and lowering costs. The solution also delivers key functionality that enables managed service providers to deliver premium service portfolios."http://www.advaoptical.com
  • ADVA's FSP 3000 is a multi-service metro and regional transport platform supporting optical access, backhaul and wavelength services. It is also used for private enterprise networks over dark fiber. As a WDM system, it offers up to 80 protected wavelength carried over various topologies. ADVA said its enhanced FSP 3000 empowers an operator to choose any transport protocol at any rate and transport it over a fully tunable long-haul DWDM channel. Specifically, the FSP 3000 can deliver speeds that range from 1, 2, 4, 8 to 10 Gbps, while addressing all storage interfaces currently in use in today's data centers, including Fibre Channel, InfiniBand and Ethernet, among others.

Monday, September 20, 2010

PMC-Sierra Trims Q3 Forecast

PMC-Sierra trimmed its financial forecast for its third quarter ending September 26, 2010. The company now expects net revenues to be in the range of $161 million to $163 million, compared to the previous revenue range of $169 million to $177 million that was announced during the July 22, 2010 earnings conference. PMC-Sierra expects its gross margins in the third quarter of 2010 to be at the lower end of the outlook range provided of 67.5% to 68.5%. Operating expenses in the third quarter of 2010 are expected to be in the range of $64 million to $65 million, down from the prior outlook range of $66 million to $67 million. http://www.pmc-sierra.com

Fujitsu Develops Distortion-Compensation DSP for 100 Gbps

Researchers at Fujitsu have developed a digital signal processing algorithm that compensates for waveform distortion in 100 Gbps signals sent over hundreds of kilometers. The researchers believe their DSP could lead to 100 Gbps links at lower cost than today's 10 Gbps within five years.

Some of this research was conducted as part of the "Universal Link Project R&D" sponsored by Japan's National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT). Fujitsu said that scaling conventional, non-linear dispersion compensation techniques would require massive circuits with more than 100 million logic gates. Its new signal-processing algorithm however, requires approximately one-quarter of circuit stages previously thought necessary. The technology has already been tested using a 112 Gbps signal over 1,200 km, and the signal quality using the new five-stage circuit was found to be comparable to that resulting from a conventional 20-stage circuit.

IBM Names Partners for Smart Grid Networks

IBM announced plans to deliver comprehensive communications to help utilities transform into "smart" grids. The goal is to provide a secure and scalable communications infrastructure integrated from the data center all the way to the sensor or smart meter.

IBM will provide consulting, design and implementation services using network technology from partners, including ADVA Optical Networking, Alvarion, Ciena, Cisco, Itron (in North America), Juniper Networks, Landis+Gyr (in North America), Motorola, RuggedCom, Sensus and Trilliant. All partners are either IBM SAFE (Solution Architecture for Energy & Utilities) validated or committed to validation as part of participation in the partner ecosystem.

"IBM was among the first companies to recognize the benefits of marrying information technology with the electricity grid," said Guido Bartels, General Manager, Energy & Utilities Industry at IBM and Chairman, GridWise Alliance. "Given our experience with more then 150 smart grid projects around the world, we are now building on that leadership by providing the first comprehensive global communications services offering of its kind."http://www.ibm.com

AT&T Begins Selling TerreStar's Dual-Mode Cellular/Sat Smartphone

AT&T has begun marketing a new Satellite Augmented Mobile Service featuring the TerreStar GENUS dual-mode cellular/satellite smartphone.

The dual-mode device uses AT&T's cellular wireless network as the primary default mode and Terrestar's satellite network as a secondary option for voice, data and messaging. The TerreStar satellite network ensures coverage in remote areas for government, energy, utility, transportation and maritime users, as well as backup satellite communications capabilities for public safety agencies, first responders and disaster recovery groups. The satellite footprint covers the United States, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands and territorial waters.

The service requires standard AT&T cellular voice and smartphone data rate plans, as well as a monthly satellite subscription feature. Usage of the satellite network for voice, data and messaging is not included in the monthly feature charge and is billed as per-minute, per-message or per-megabyte roaming charges on a customer's AT&T Mobility service invoice.

The TerreStar GENUS runs on the Windows Mobile 6.5 operating system to provide rich features and functionality, including a touch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, camera and GPS.

"With advancements in satellite technology, satellite-based communications is poised to be the next standard in everyday mobile devices," said Jeffrey Epstein, President and Chief Executive Officer of TerreStar. "We are pleased to work with AT&T to bring powerful integrated satellite-cellular solutions to market, providing customers with critical communication capabilities and a great mobile experience."http://www.att.com
  • TerreStar's dual-mode smartphone was developed by EB (Elektrobit). The device features quad-band GSM and tri-band WCDMA/HSPA capabilities. In addition to seamless satellite/terrestrial voice handovers, the smartphone is capable of SMS, MMS, IM, Email, Push to Talk and Location Based Services (LBS). Notably, TerreStar will use an all-IP core network, with services based on IMS.

  • The Terrestar-1 satellite, which was launched in July 2009, is the largest and most powerful commercial satellite to date. The hybrid satellite/terrestrial architecture ensures mobile coverage in rural areas across North America or in cases where the conventional terrestrial services become unavailable.

  • The satellite, which weighs a record 6,910 kg and was built at Space Systems/Loral's Palo Alto, California facility, operates in two 10-Mhz blocks of contiguous MSS spectrum in the 2 GHz band throughout the United States and Canada - with a spectrum footprint that covers a population of nearly 330 million. The satellite uniquely features an 18-meter deployable reflector and an S-band feed array with 500 spot beams.

Huawei Benchmarks "SuperMIMO" DSL at 700 Mbps / 400m

Huawei has demonstrated a "SuperMIMO" DSL prototype capable of achieving a data rate of 700 Mbps -- roughly seven times the previous theoretical top speed of a DSL connection.

Huawei said its SuperMIMO technology uses four twisted pairs to achieve a downstream rate of 700Mbps at a distance of 400 meters. The technology methodically addresses crosstalk among multiple twisted pairs and dramatically increases DSL bandwidth by 75 percent, from an average of 100Mbps per twisted pair to approximately 175 Mbps. Huawei's 700 Mbps DSL prototype accommodates high-speed FTTB/FTTC access and bandwidth-hungry private line applications, such as base station access.

You Yiyong, President of Huawei's Access Network Product Line, said, "DSL technologies for broadband access are showing great market potential. As a leader in the development of DSL technologies, our newest DSL prototype demonstrates our commitment to providing customer-centric and groundbreaking solutions and services for operators to enhance their competitiveness and profitability."http://www.huawei.com

Telefónica España Launches Dual-Carrier, 42 Mbps HSPA+

Telefónica España will launch dual-carrier HSPA+ service under its Movistar brand in Madrid and Barcelona beginning in October. The company is offering Novatel Wireless' MC545 USB modem as its first device capable of reaching the peak speeds of 42 Mbps over a dual-carrier HSPA+ network.

During 2010, the company has been upgrading its network to HSPA+ to deliver up to 21 Mbps in Spanish cities with populations of over 250,000. These locations will now be upgraded to dual-carrier HSPA+ capability.http://info.telefonica.e

Novatel Wireless Launches Dual-Carrier HSPA+ USB Device

Novatel Wireless introduced a Dual-Carrier HSPA+ (DC- HSPA+) USB modem. At a press event in Madrid Telefonica Moviles launched the new Ovation MC545 and showcased over-the-air download speed of 40.5 Mbps supported by Ericsson's DC-HSPA+ network infrastructure.

The Ovation MC545 is based on the 3GPP Release 8 standard. DC-HSPA+ supports theoretical peak downlink data rates of up to 42 Mbps and 5.7 Mbps on the uplink. It supports the 900,1900 and 2100 MHz frequency bands. It also features Novatel Wireless' MobiLink 3 auto install connection manager, memory storage of up to 32GB via MicroSDHC and backward compatibility with HSPA technologies.

NSN Cites Progress in Mobile Backhaul Upgrades

Nokia Siemens Networks has migrated its 100th customer from legacy mobile backhaul technology to IP/Ethernet. The company said this milestone reflects a quickened pace in the mobile industry's adoption of IP architecture.

Today network operators face high capacity demands due to the increased uptake of smart devices and always-on applications," said Marc Rouanne, head of Network Systems, Nokia Siemens Networks. "We help our customers with a direct path to LTE -- migrating them to cost-efficient, highly reliable and scalable IP/Ethernet backhaul networks. The 100th customer deploying our technology shows that transformation to IP is developing at a rapid pace and that operators realize the value in our offering."http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com

Nokia Siemens Networks Conducts 200G Trial

Nokia Siemens Networks succeeded in transmitting data at 200 Gbps over standard optical fiber. The lab trial, which was conducted at the NSN research facility in Munich, used its recently announced 400G-ready DWDM equipment.

Nokia Siemens Networks said the move to 400G is the next step in the optical transport deployments, following the current 10/40/100G networks. This 200G trial is seen as a stepping stone in this migration. The company expects network operators will start deploying 400G-ready optical networks by 2011.

"Nokia Siemens Networks has time and again demonstrated its capacity leadership in optical networks. Our latest trial shows that it's possible today to re-use existing fiber and double the speed per wavelength to 200G," said Oliver Jahreis, head of product management for WDM networks at Nokia Siemens Networks. "This development is an important milestone and shows that we are on the right track toward a cost-efficient approach to 400G networks and beyond."

As the demand for higher-capacity transport networks continues to rise, network operators need to increase the speed per wavelength in their existing networks. It will help operators get the most out of their investments, as laying additional fiber lines to meet the capacity demand is a costly option.

Re-use of existing fiber for the evolution to higher-capacity networks will protect operators' investments, while providing higher data speeds for end users.

Nokia Siemens Networks conducted the trial at its research and development center in Munich using its prototype equipment.
  • In July 2010, Nokia Siemens Networks announced that its hiT 7300 DWDM platform will be ready for native 400 Gbps single carrier optical transmission by Q1 2011. NSN will offer different muxponder cards to take advantage of this capacity, i.e. 10x40G and 4x100G muxed into a 400G wavelength. The company's optical line system will have 96 channel capacity and when the single-carrier 400 Gbps capacity is introduced, the overall system capacity will be 38.4 Tbps (96 channels of 400G).

MetroPCS Launches LTE in Las Vegas

MetroPCS launched the first LTE commercial service in the United States. The company has activated its first LTE network in central Las Vegas and had begun offering the Samsung Craft 4G LTE enabled handset as its first LTE device.

MetroPCS is offering unlimited talk, text and 4G Web access starting at $55 per month, including taxes and regulatory fees, with no annual contract required. An upgraded $60 per month plan adds "MetroSTUDIO", a music and video service powered by RealNetworks that provides on-demand content from NBC Universal, Black Entertainment Television (BET) and Univision. The $60 plan also features a built-in social networking and instant messaging aggregation application and a voice-activated GPS and turn-by-turn directions.

Tethering is not supported or allowed.

The Samsung Craft, which is priced at $299 plus tax, after $50 instant rebate, is a multi-mode 4G LTE/CDMA handset. It features a 3.3 inch AMOLED (Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) screen, a 2GB microSD card, a combination touch screen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and Samsung's "TouchWiz" user interface. It also provides A 3.2 megapixel camera with flash and camcorder, and Wi-Fi capability.

MetroPCS' Las Vegas 4G LTE network, which was built through a partnership with Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile), will cover the majority of MetroPCS' existing CDMA network footprint in Las Vegas.

The company said 4G LTE network rollouts in the remaining MetroPCS markets are planned for later this year and early 2011. These markets include Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Sacramento, North Florida, Central Florida, South Florida, Boston, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Atlanta and New York City.

"The Internet is going mobile, and we are placing the true power of the Internet directly in our customers' hands, when and where they need it. By offering affordable, predictable and flexible 4G services on a no-contract basis, MetroPCS delivers immediate benefits to our customers and is positioned to meet their evolving needs well into the future," said Roger D. Linquist, president, CEO and chairman of MetroPCS.

Cyan Introduces Single-Slot "ROADM on a Blade"

Cyan is introducing a reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) module with up to 40 channels of wavelength selectable switching (WSS) for use in its Z-Series platforms. The new Z-Series WSS-402 module simplifies the upgrade of fiber transport routes for up to 400 Gbps of capacity per-fiber with simple plug and play modules, and optional fixed or tunable optics. Cyan's multi-layer management system provides network-wide, point and click provisioning of wavelengths on demand.

Cyan's Z-Series platforms support Carrier Ethernet services with connection oriented Ethernet transport, SONET/SDH transport, as well as G.709 muxponded and transponded services. As services consume available fibers, service providers have a choice of adding four, eight or up to 40 channels of DWDM capacity with simple card additions. Cyan's new single-slot WSS-402 module provides a fully integrated design providing DWDM, EDFA (Eridium Doped Fiber Amplifiers), OSC (Optical service channel) and WSS all in one single-slot module.