Thursday, November 11, 2010

LightSquared Next Gen SkyTerra 1 Satellite Launched

LightSquared's SkyTerra 1 satellite was successfully launched into orbit on an ILS Proton rocket from Kazakhstan. The SkyTerra 1 satellite, weighing over 5.3 metric tons, was placed into geostationary transfer orbit. It was the first satellite launch for LightSquared.

The satellite is based on the Boeing 702HP design and it will combine with four gateway ground stations and ground-based beam-forming equipment to create the first of two Space-Based Networks (SBN) that Boeing is building for LightSquared (formerly SkyTerra). The satellite features a 22-meter L-band reflector-based antenna -- the largest commercial antenna reflector to be put into service. The active phased-array antenna will offer state-of-the-art digital signal processing, channel formation and switching.

"At LightSquared, our goal is to revolutionize wireless communications and our timeline to do that is very aggressive. We knew we could count on ILS and ILS Proton to help us maintain a steady pace with an on-time launch. The ILS Proton launch of the SkyTerra 1 satellite is an important step toward bringing mobile wireless services that are accessible anytime, anywhere, throughout the United States. We are grateful to the entire team of dedicated professionals who worked on the SkyTerra 1 launch," said Sanjiv Ahuja, Chairman and CEO of LightSquared.

MBNL Completes Network Consolidation Project in UK

Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL), the network joint-venture between Three and Everything Everywhere, has completed a network sharing and consolidation project across the UK. The project, which is managed by Ericsson, consolidates more than 12,000 sites of the two operators into a common infrastructure. Everything Everywhere is the new company that runs Orange and T-Mobile in the UK.

Thanks to this active network consolidation project, all 3G sites, transmitters, base station equipment and backhaul connected to the operator's core networks are now fully configured for high speed mobile broadband access. Alongside the customer benefits, Three and Everything Everywhere will see significant savings and environment benefits because of network sharing. This has included the switching off of more than 5,000 sites - more than 2,000 of which have already been fully decommissioned - as part of a project recognized as the largest and most successful integration of two live networks to have occurred anywhere in the world.

Under the five-year managed service contract announced in February 2009, Ericsson is the primary service provider for the project and was responsible for network design and deployment, building of sites, capacity management, equipment swaps and vital upgrades. Ericsson said the consolidation work started in February 2009 and was completed in October 2010. This was done while keeping the two networks running smoothly during the project, which also saw Ericsson deliver the all-important cost and efficiency savings.

Magnus Mandersson, Head of Business Unit Global Services, Ericsson, said: "This was an unparalleled and quite complex managed services and systems integration consolidation project. Its success shows the benefits to partners of network sharing and reflects a new business model that the industry can learn a great deal from. All the partners involved in this network sharing project - not least T-Mobile and Three customers - have all emerged as winners. I'm proud of our success and look forward to supporting and advising MBNL as their managed services partner."
  • Earlier this month, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom completed their UK merger transaction, combining T-Mobile UK and Orange into the UK's leading mobile operator. It will have a combined mobile customer base of around 28.4 million, representing approximately 37 percent of UK mobile subscribers.

  • In November 2008, Mobile Broadband Network Limited (MBNL), the 50:50 joint venture formed by 3UK and T-Mobile UK to manage the integration of both operators' 3G radio access networks (RAN), has awarded Ericsson a four-year managed services contract for the operation and maintenance of the consolidated network. Under the deal, Ericsson has responsibility for the operation and performance management of both parent companies' 3G networks and T-Mobile's 2G RAN infrastructure.

  • In December 2007, T-Mobile UK and 3 UK pooled their 3G network infrastructure in a 50:50 joint venture company, Mobile Broadband Network Ltd. (MBNL). The network sharing requires fewer masts, consumes less energy and provides customers with greater mobile broadband coverage.

TeliaSonera Readies LTE Rollout in Finland

TeliaSonera confirmed the commercial rollout of its LTE service in Finland before the end of this year. The initial launch will occur in Turku, followed by Helsinki.

Telia's LTE network in Finland will use two frequencies: 1.8 GHz and 2.6 GHz. In the first phase, only modems for the 2.6 GHz band will be available, although the carrier expects multiple modems operating in both frequencies by spring 2011.

Telia's 4G network boasts a top theoretical downlink speed of 100 Mbps and under normal circumstances 20-80 Mbps.

NTT Develops GMPLS Virtual IP-Optical Architecture

NTT is developing an IP-optical virtual network architecture to enable the efficient sharing of infrastructure by multiple service providers. With this architecture, the physical network infrastructure consists or IP routers, OXCs (optical cross connects) and optical fibers. The resources are virtually sliced and allocated to service operators. Using the allocated resources, service operators are allowed to setup optical paths between the router pairs in order to form IP links.

NTT said its architecture ensure resource isolation in the physical layer and enables virtual networks to be operated with high degree of autonomy compared to current virtual IP networks that are managed only in the IP layer.

In an experiment, researchers at NTT implemented multiple virtual networks over a wide-area network constructed upon the national testbed network, JGN2plus2. The virtual networks transmitted ultra-high density video at up to about 6 Gbps. The virtual network was also able to reconfigures its topology dynamically by setting up and tearing down the optical paths.

NTT has developed a physical network manager that triggers the setup of the optical path between a router pair, and configures it as an active IP link. For the given source-destination pair of the IP link, path computation for the optical path is done considering the available resources. As soon as the optical path is set up, physical network manager configures the IP routers so that the optical path can be used as an IP link. Such integrated control of IP and optical paths enables to provide virtual networks in a very short term. The architecture is leveraging GMPLS for the network management and control. It means that our virtual network architecture can be implemented using ordinary products that support GMPLS available now in the market.

SES Gains Role in Europe's Galileo Project

ASTRA TechCom Services, an SES company, has signed a contract with Spaceopal, the company providing ground-based services required to operate the Galileo constellation until it has been fully deployed. The agreement secures a role for SES in Europe's Galileo project.

Broadcom Declares Quarterly Dividend

Broadcom will pay its next quarterly cash dividend of $0.08 per share to holders of the Company's common stock. The dividend was declared by the Board of Directors on November 11 and will be paid on December 13, 2010 to holders of record of the Company's Class A and Class B common stock at the close of business on November 26, 2010. The dividend so declared will be paid from U.S. domestic sources other than the company's retained earnings and will be treated for accounting purposes as a reduction of shareholders' equity.

Two Minute Video: Wireless Backhaul -- Maximizing Scarce Resources

Presented by Alan Solheim, Dragonwave

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Telefónica Sees Strength in Diversification -- 67% Revenues Outside of Spain

Despite weakness in its home market of Spain, the Telefónica Group's revenues rose to 44,280 million euros
in the first nine months of 2010, up 6.0% year-on-year in the first nine months of the year and at 7.3% year-on-year in the quarter. Telefónica continues to further increase revenue diversification, and Telefónica España now accounts for just 32% of Group revenues, with 67% coming from Telefónica Latinoamérica (42%) and Telefónica Europe (25%).

The company reported that total number of accesses across all its divisions rose to 281.8 million, which represents organic growth of 7.1% versus the end of September 2009 (reported growth of 4.9%). By region, of particular note are the expansion of the customer base at Telefónica Latinoamérica (+9.4% year-on-year) and Telefónica Europe (+5.8% year-on-year organic; +13.8% reported).

Mobile accesses at the Telefónica Group stood at 214.9 million at the end of September, a year-on-year organic growth of 9.2% (+4.4% reported). Organic net additions since the beginning of the year reached 12.7 million accesses (+3.9 million accesses in the third quarter).

Telefónica noted a strong take-up of smartphones and dongles, as the number of mobile broadband accesses rose to more than 19 million by the end of September 2010 (+73.4% year-on-year), a figure that represents
a penetration over the total mobile access base of 9%.

Retail fixed broadband accesses reached a total of 16.7 million, with organic net additions of 1.1 million accesses since the beginning of the year (3.2 million reported). This represents an organic year-on-year increase of 10.7% (+26.5% reported), a significant acceleration versus the growth rate recorded at the end of June (+9.2%), driven by the improvement in quarterly net additions in Latin America and the growing activity in Germany (net additions were 3.6 times greater than in the previous quarter) and Spain (net additions rose 24.4%
quarter-on-quarter). The number of pay-TV accesses stood at 2.7 million at the end of September, a 7% increase in organic terms on September 2009 (+9.8% reported).

BT's Fibre roll out Passes Three Million Premises

BT Groups reported quarterly adjusted revenue of 4,977m pounds, down 3% compared to a year earlier, however, adjusted EBITDA came in at 1,452m pounds, up 3% year-over-year. Free cash flow improved as well, reaching 535m pounds for the quarter and 950m pounds in the half year, up 63%.

Ian Livingston, Chief Executive, stated: "We have made significant progress in improving profitability and cash flow, enabling us to invest in building the foundations for revenue growth in 2012/13. "We have increased our EBITDA outlook for the year and now expect to hit our 2bn pounds free cash flow target two years early.

"Global Services order intake was up 50% at 2.1bn pounds. Our fibre roll out has passed three million premises and BT Infinity orders are now running at over 4,000 per week. BT Vision customers now stand at more than half a million, with more developments planned to enhance our offering. Our share of DSL broadband net additions was 45%, one of our highest shares ever."

Spirent Supplies TD-LTE Test Solution

Spirent Communications has supplied its SR5500 Wireless Channel Emulator for testing beamforming capabilities of Time Domain-Long Term Evolution (TD-LTE) base stations to a major network equipment supplier for use at its laboratories in Shanghai, China.

TD-LTE uses a single shared frequency band for both uplink and downlink. Beamforming is an adaptive antenna technique used to maximize the performance of wireless systems. It typically makes use of eight antennas on the base station and two on the mobile device (8x2).

"Between ongoing work in China and probable deployment in India's Broadband Wireless Access bands, TD-LTE may well be the wireless technology of choice for hundreds of millions of subscribers," said Rob VanBrunt, vice president of Spirent's Wireless business. "While the complexities of advanced antenna techniques require careful design and testing, the reward is very high data throughput capability. We look forward to seeing the results of the industry's hard work, and are delighted to be a part of enabling it."

TeliaSonera IC Renews Major Outsourcing Contract to Ericsson

TeliaSonera International Carrier has renewed and expanded its multicountry Managed Services contract with Ericsson. Under the new deal, Ericsson will now perform field operation services for the operator's voice and data networks, built on multivendor equipment. Among the larger countries covered are Austria, France, Germany, the UK and the US; the expanded deal also involves taking over field maintenance in Russia.

Ericsson will be responsible for field operation services in 29 countries covering TeliaSonera International Carrier's voice, IP, transmission, media, and DWDM network. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Level 3 Confirms Primary CDN Role for Netflix

Level 3 Communications will serve as a primary content delivery network (CDN) provider for Netflix delivering streaming and storage for the entire Netflix library of content. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As a result of the deal, Level 3 announced further investment in its CDN capacity. Level 3 will double its storage capacity and add 2.9 Terabits per second (Tbps) of globally available CDN capacity. This is in addition to the 1.65 Tbps that was deployed in the third quarter of 2010.

In addition to supporting Netflix for streaming movies and TV shows, Level 3 will store the entire Netflix streaming library of more than 20,000 titles. Over the course of November and December, the two companies will move the library to storage with Level 3 in preparation for serving traffic beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

Facebook to Build $450 million Data Center in North Carolina

Facebook broke ground on the construction of a major data center located near Forest City in Rutherford County, North Carolina. When construction is completed, the data center will employ around 35-45 full-time and contract workers. Facebook is expected to invest about $450 million dollars in the project. The building will be designed to LEED gold standards. Facebook said it will implement the latest energy-saving designs in the data center.

"After a rigorous review of sites across the East Coast, we are pleased to locate our new data center in Rutherford County. The team we will hire here will help us provide faster, more reliable and more robust service to people around the world who rely on Facebook to connect and share," said Tom Furlong, Director of Site Operations for Facebook. "We are very grateful to the officials in Rutherford County and the State of North Carolina whose time, effort and commitment were instrumental in making this happen."

North Carolina has become a destination for data center projects, with recent projects underway by Apple, Google and IBM.
  • Facebook first wholly-owned data center is under construction in Prineville, Oregon.

Internet2 Readies its 100G Ethernet Research Network

Internet2 is ready to begin deploying its new, nationwide 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) network to meet the current and future needs of the U.S. research and higher education community. The network will leverage Juniper's T1600 Core Routers, equipped with their 100 GigE interface cards, across the entire backbone.

In the coming weeks, Internet2 will announce a 100 GigE optical transport equipment provider partner and will begin deployment on a region-by-region basis. Internet2 expects to complete deployment of this new network in 2013.

In support of the rollout, Internet2 was recently awarded a federal stimulus grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

"Internet2 plays an important role in connecting community anchor institutions around the nation to advance research and education and to encourage the adoption of next-generation Internet applications," said Rob Vietzke, Internet2 executive director of network services. "This can only be achieved through a robust network that can support high-bandwidth applications in large-scale scientific research, as well as telemedicine, public safety and distance education. As we build the first 100 Gig research network, our partnership with Juniper Networks is critical to delivering on this promise."http://www.internet2.edu
  • In August, Juniper Networks announced a $2.5 million cash donation to Internet2 in support of the development of a new, nationwide 100 Gbps network serving U.S. community institutions.

    Internet2, with partners National LambdaRail, Northern Tier Network Consortium and Indiana University, were recently awarded a federal stimulus grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to create a nationwide high-capacity network that will enable advanced networking features for more than 200,000 essential community anchor institutions.

    Juniper noted that it has been an Internet2 corporate partner and a principal provider of IP networking equipment to Internet2's national backbone since 2002.

  • In July, Internet2 appointed H. David (Dave) Lambert as its new president and CEO, replacing Douglas Van Houweling. Lambert previously served as the Vice President for Information Services and Chief Information Officer at Georgetown University. He is a founding member of the Mid-Atlantic Crossroads (MAX), a regional advanced Internet consortium, which provides critical connectivity for the research and education community and for many government agencies in the Greater Washington D.C. region.

Motorola Demos Public Safety LTE

Motorola demonstrated live over-the-air (OTA) broadband video in the 700MHz Public Safety spectrum band.

The exercise, which was conducted at the 2010 Motorola Digital Users Group Conference, showcased a compact USB device based on commercial silicon supporting the Band Class 14 Public Safety spectrum band. The demonstration also highlighted dynamic prioritization and preemption for safeguarding LTE capacity for critical resources during an emergency response.

Motorola's portfolio of LTE devices will include portable data adaptors, vehicular modems and multimedia handhelds among others. Motorola has also developed real-time video intelligence that adjusts video to best match real-time wireless LTE bandwidth capabilities with the device screen size.

Verizon Implements 100G Ethernet on European Backbone

Verizon is rolling out its first 100G Ethernet link on a portion of the company's European long-haul network.

Initially, Verizon will deploy the 100G router-to-router technology between Paris to Frankfurt using Juniper's routers and Ciena's coherent optical transport platform.

Last year, Verizon deployed a 100G ultra-long-haul optical transmission system on this 893-kilometer (555-mile) network route.

"This latest 100G Ethernet advancement is further confirmation of Verizon's commitment to the next-generation technology, which is vital to meet the continued demand for IP-based services and applications from both wired and wireless broadband devices," said Ihab Tarazi, vice president of global network planning for Verizon.

European Commission: Competition, Open Internet, No New Net Neutrality Rules

Competition is the open Internet's best friend and, in general, European service providers have upheld the principle of open access, said Neelie Kroes, who heads the European Commission's digital agenda.

In a speech in Brussels on 'The Open Internet and Net Neutrality in Europe', Kroes said a healthy competitive environment and the market force of consumers demanding access to services like Skype, so far have blocked the emergence of monopolistic gatekeepers which could create serious dangers for net neutrality.
Kroes believes that traffic management is essential, not only to optimise "best effort services" on the open Internet, but also to allow the development of special managed services, such as eLearning or eHealth applications, which are very valuable for European society.
She warned against new regulation which might deter investment and an efficient use of the available resources, and restated the principle that national regulatory authorities must at the same time "promote the ability of end-users to access and distribute information or run applications and services of their choice."
  • In September, he European Commission adopted several measures aimed at boosting the roll-out and take up of fast- and ultra-fast broadband as part of its Digital Agenda for Europe. The goal is to ensure that every European citizen could access basic broadband by 2013, and fast- and ultra-fast broadband by 2020. The newly adopted measures include:

    A recommendation on access to next-generation networks, so that telecoms operators would know what EU laws will apply and that rules be consistent across the single market. The recommendation primarily covers remedies to be imposed upon operators designated with Significant Market Power (SMP) to ensure sharing of facilities. The recommendation holds that national regulatory authorities should also use their powers to facilitate the deployment of multiple fibre lines where feasible to ensure long term competition. The document also contends that alternative operators, some of whom have already deployed their own networks to connect to the unbundled copper loop of the SMP operator, "need to be provided with appropriate access products in order to continue to compete in an NGA context. For FTTH these may consist of access to civil engineering infrastructure, to the terminating segment, to the unbundled fibre loop (including dark fibre) or of wholesale broadband access, as the case may be."
    A proposal to ensure that spectrum is available by 2013 for wireless broadband using the 800 MHz band. The European Commission has already adopted a recommendation calling for analogue broadcasting to be switched off by 1 January 2012, and this band should be made available for electronic communications in the EU by 2013. In the longer term, additional spectrum below 790 MHz could also be envisaged, depending on experience and the lack of spectrum in other bands adequate for coverage. Considering the capacity of the 800 MHz band to transmit over large areas, the EC believes coverage obligations should be attached to rights.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bharti Airtel Reaches 195 Million Customers -- India + Africa

Bharti Airtel reported continued rapid growth in its Indian networks and in the properties across African recently acquired from Zain. All together, Bharti Airtel is serving 195 million customers across 19 countries across Asia and Africa.

In a statement, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Limited, said "Bharti Airtel continues to maintain its leadership position in India and generate healthy free cash flow. Our 3G services will be available across India, starting with launches in the current quarter. We are also redefining the accessibility and affordability levels across Africa through innovative business models. With the imminent launch of the Airtel brand in Africa, the customers will experience the power of a unified brand across our 19 countries. We are delighted that the new path breaking global partnerships announced recently will enable us to strengthen our leadership position across Africa.