Thursday, November 18, 2010

Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance Appoints Board

The Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Alliance appointed its new Board Members:, elected for the period from 2010 to 2012 are:

Olivier Baujard, Chief Technology Officer, Deutsche Telekom AG

Thierry Bonhomme, Executive Vice President IT, Networks and Product Support, France Telecom - Orange

Sandro Dionisi, Head of TI Lab (Innovation and Engineering dpt), Telecom Italia S.p.A.

Jong Tae Ihm, Senior Vice President, Head of Institute of Network Technology (R&D Center), MNO Business, SK telecom Ltd.

Mitsunobu Komori, Executive Vice President, Chief Technical Officer, Member of Board of Directors, and Managing Director of R&D Center, NTT DOCOMO Inc.

Li Zhengmao, Executive Vice President, China Mobile Communications Corporation

Andy MacLeod, Director Group Networks, Vodafone Group Services

Kristin S. Rinne, Senior Vice President - Architecture & Planning, AT&T, Inc.

Bruce Rodin, Vice President Wireless Technology, Bell Canada Enterprises

Vicente San Miguel Maza, Global Chief Technology Officer, Telefónica S.A.

The vision of the NGMN Alliance is to provide a platform for innovation by moving towards one integrated network for the seamless introduction of mobile broadband services.

Frontier: Suspects Charged with Murder in Copper Theft Accident

Frontier Communications has intensified its efforts to combat copper theft. The company said it will vigorously follow up on the prosecution of vandalism and theft of its infrastructure.

Frontier cited a recently case in Beckley, West Virginia, where two suspects were charged with first degree murder after a third person was electrocuted while allegedly stealing copper at a facility. Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney Kristen Keller said, "We hope that if the possibility of killing themselves doesn't deter people from attempting copper theft, then perhaps the knowledge that they can be charged with first degree murder if one of their associates is killed might help dissuade people from committing the crime."

Michigan's Agri-Valley Selects BridgeWater

Michigan-based Agri-Valley Communications, a rural internet service provider ,has selected the Bridgewater EPC 500 system for its network rollout. The Bridgewater EPC 500 system provides subscriber and device data management, policy control, and interworking functions for the LTE Evolved Packet Core. It includes the Bridgewater Home Subscriber Server and Policy Controller (PCRF) both anchored by Bridgewater's Subscriber Data Broker. Financial terms were not disclosed.
  • Last month, Nokia Siemens Network announced a contract to supply LTE gear to Agri-Valley, including its Flexi Multiradio Base Stations and Evolved Packet Core (EPC) using Flexi NS (Network Server) and Flexi NG (Network Gateway). It will also provide its NetAct network management system to efficiently monitor, manage and optimize the operator's network. Nokia Siemens Networks' Value-Added Reseller (VAR), Avion Systems will manage installation, commissioning and integration of the solution.

FiberLight Activates $20 Million Network in Maryland

FiberLight activated a $20 million, 104-mile fully diverse fiber optic network in Maryland. The new network will augment FiberLight's existing 123-mile Baltimore network and 299-mile Virginia and D.C. networks by extending the 100% underground optical backbone past the downtown business district to connect to the growing cities of Laurel, Columbia, Elkridge and Greenbelt, while providing greater diversity to the MD/D.C./VA region.

USAID Teams with Cisco to Promote Entrepreneurship

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Cisco and World Learning announced a new collaboration to promote local entrepreneurs, workforce development and economic growth in developing countries.

USAID is providing $1 million in seed funding through World Learning to encourage the creation of new Cisco Entrepreneur Institutes and Networking Academy programs in up to 10 countries. USAID Missions will in turn be invited to partner with local Cisco offices to fund country or customized initiatives, such as curriculum enhancement, scholarships, or initiatives that target underserved populations, including youth, women and persons with disabilities. A portion of the funding also could be used to translate and localize training content to ensure it meets local business laws and regulations. The programs aims train more than 2,500 students over the next two years.

"USAID is proud to partner with Cisco and World Learning to expand local entrepreneurial activities in developing countries with the goal of alleviating poverty and promoting sustained economic growth," stated Deputy Administrator Donald Steinberg, at a ceremony held at USAID to sign the partners' Memorandum of Understanding. "This alliance will help build sustainable businesses and train the business leaders of tomorrow."

India's 2008 2G Spectrum Auctions Cited for Fraud

India's auction of 2G spectrum, which were conducted two years ago, is the subject of a fraud investigation implicating former Telecom Minister, Mr. Andimuthu Raja, and other government. In what is being described as one of the nation's biggest political corruption scandals, investigators allege that the low-prices for the 2G licenses could have cost India's treasury billions -- perhaps as much as US$40 billion. Proposals have now been floated to cancel up to 62 of the 2G licenses held be five leading mobile operators.
  • In May 2010, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar and Reliance Communications were major winners in the 3G spectrum auction that was just concluded by India's Ministry of Communications & Information Technology. After 183 rounds of bidding in 4 days, the auction raised approximately Rs 67,719 crore (US$15 billion) in commitments from the carriers. Pundits had predicted between Rs 30,000 crore to Rs 35,000 crore in auction proceeds for the spectrum, indicating fierce bidding as the number of mobile users across the country continues to soar.

Cisco Authorizes Up To $10B in Additional Stock Repurchases

Cisco's board of directors authorized up to $10 billion in additional repurchases of its common stock. Cisco's board had previously authorized up to $72 billion in stock repurchases. There is no fixed termination date for the repurchase program.

"Today's decision to increase Cisco's stock repurchase program is part of our continued commitment to return cash to shareholders, which also includes our plan to issue a dividend this fiscal year," said Frank Calderoni, chief financial officer, Cisco. "We are confident in our strategy, product portfolio and ability to capture and lead new markets."

From the inception of the repurchase program in September 2001 through the close of Cisco's first quarter fiscal year 2011 on October 30, 2010, the company had repurchased and retired 3.2 billion shares at an average price of $20.83 per share for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $67.5 billion, with a remaining authorized amount of $4.5 billion.

Kotura Demos Ultrafast Silicon Photonics Switch

Kotura demonstrated an ultrafast, submilliwatt, broadband 2 x 2 optical switch. The device boasts switching speeds of 6 ns and power consumption of only 0.6 milliwatts. The company said large numbers of 2 x 2 switch modules could be integrated to create complex switch fabrics.

"We are putting all the building blocks in place for Optical Interconnects," reported Mehdi Asghari, CTO at Kotura. "We previously demonstrated high-speed, low-power modulators, high-speed detectors with record performance, and low-loss wavelength division multiplexers and de-multiplexers. With our new 2 x 2 switch we will be able to support more complex silicon photonic circuits and enable more flexible interconnecting architectures. The switching power of 0.6mW achieved by this free carrier current injection device represents, to our knowledge, a world record and the speed of 6ns is amongst the fastest ever reported."

Kotura's low-power high-speed switch was developed as part of the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency's Ultra-performance Nano-photonic Intrachip Communications (UNIC) program in conjunction with Oracle Corporation, under the leadership of Dr. Jagdeep Shah, DARPA Program Manager.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dell'Oro: Optical Transport Market Returns to Positive Year-Over-Year Growth

Worldwide optical market revenues grew 3 percent year-over-year in the third quarter, reversing the trend of revenue declines that started in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. The positive result in the optical market was attributed to improved demand across all regions with particular strength in the Americas. The leading optical vendors in the quarter were Huawei, Alcatel-Lucent, and Ciena with a combined worldwide market share of nearly 50 percent.

WDM equipment benefited the greatest from this increasing market demand for bandwidth. During the quarter, WDM revenues grew 18 percent versus the same quarter last year to nearly $1.6 billion. The North America region was the largest market for WDM equipment in the quarter as revenues grew 30 percent year-over-year. The vendors with the greatest market share selling into the North America region were Ciena, Fujitsu, Infinera, and Cisco with a combined share of 65 percent.

The report further indicates that 40 Gbps WDM wavelength shipments have grown approximately 200 percent year-over-year with an increasing number of worldwide deployments, and that 100 Gbps WDM wavelength shipments have started to ship this year.

Dell'Oro: Strong Growth in Unified Communications Market

The Unified Communications market expanded to its highest level since 2008 in the third quarter this year, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Strong second half seasonality helped offset weakness in Europe as the Unified Communications market expanded 7 percent sequentially. Also, according to the report, vendors continue to migrate their installed base over to IP lines, although the process may take another decade to complete. The top eight vendors in the quarter that accounted for more than 80 percent of IP line shipments were: Aastra, Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Mitel, NEC, Shoretel, and Siemens.

"The market rebounded strongly in the third quarter due to robust seasonal quarters from several of the larger vendors, especially in North America, which was able to offset weakness in Europe" commented Alan Weckel, Director at Dell'Oro Group. "Despite pockets of weakness reappearing, we believe that the Unified Communications market will expand significantly in 2010 as existing vendors continue to invest and expand their software offerings and Microsoft begins to actively push Lync," Weckel added.

Australia's NBN Co Selects Cisco for Data Centres

Australia's NBN Co. has selected Cisco to provide the data centre computing platform that unites computing, network, storage access, and virtualisation. The cohesive system will support NBN Co's business and operational systems. The initial value of the contract is AU$9.5 million over three years, with the opportunity to scale up as NBN Co's needs increase.

NBN Co recently announced the selection of Global Switch to house its hardware and software systems. In addition to this data centre in Sydney, NBN Co will announce a second data centre location later in the year.

Fon Wi-Fi Sharing Integrated into Broadcom's DOCSIS 3.0 SoCs

Broadcom and Fon, which operates the largest WiFi community in the world, with over 2.5 million Fon WiFi spots and nearly 5 million user, announced the first Fon-ready Broadcom chipsets for DOCSIS 3.0 devices.

Broadcom's DOCSIS 3.0-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions now feature a software development kit (SDK) that enables manufacturers to build Fon functionality directly into their customer premises equipment (CPEs) without any additional development.

Fon currently partners with leading broadband service providers, hardware manufacturers and Telco operators, including British Telecom, Comstar-MTS Russia, SFR, and ZON Portugal who offer Fon-ready services.

British Telecom, Coral Group, Skype, Google, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital are investors in Fon.

PCIe 3.0 Doubles I/O Interconnect Performance

PCI-SIG released the latest PCIe Base 3.0 specification. The new PCIe 3.0 architecture is a low-cost, high-performance I/O technology that includes a new 128b/130b encoding scheme and a data rate of 8 gigatransfers per second (GT/s), doubling the interconnect bandwidth over the PCIe 2.0 specification. PCIe 3.0 technology also maintains backward compatibility with previous PCIe architectures and provides the optimum design point for high-volume platform I/O implementations across a wide range of topologies. Possible topologies include servers, workstations, desktop and mobile personal computers, embedded systems, peripheral devices, etc.

ZTE Demos VoLTE Call Based on IMS

At Mobile Asia Congress 2010, ZTE demonstrated IMS-based Voice over LTE (VoLTE) calls running CSL's LTE network in Hong Kong and its existing mobile networks. The calls finished between IMS clients as well as IMS client and conventional 2G/3G handsets.

The companies said their achievement marks the first time VoLTE calls have been made between an LTE network and an existing 2G/3G network. In addition, supplementary services such as call forwarding, call waiting were demonstrated.

ZTE provided Uni-CORE solutions for CSL to build an intelligent, convergent and high-performance core network, achieving 2G/3G/4G full convergence. CSL's network will support accurate service control and content-based billing. It provides powerful data throughput to ensure that the network can deal with the challenges from the explosive growth of data traffic as well as an increasingly complex services.

In July 2010, ZTE and CSL began deployment of the world's first 1800 MHz/2600 MHz dual-band LTE network as well as the upgrade of CSL's existing 3G network with Dual Cell technology. The dual-band LTE network takes advantage of CSL's spectrum position to provide customers with better coverage and enhanced penetration, for a more satisfying communications experience.

CSL's LTE/DC-HSPA+network will provide users with a broader range of enhanced multimedia services. The IMS-based broadband voice solution demonstrated at this event and the further deployment of Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) solution in the future will promote CSL's mobile voice evolution from traditional network to LTE network. ZTE provides the continuously innovative core network solutions, helping CSL to keep its leading position in Hong Kong and enhanced customer experience.

"The ability to achieve VoLTE is one of the biggest challenges for operators on the road to deploying LTE networks. ZTE collaborated with CSL to research this issue and obtained some valuable experience in voice applications over the LTE network. This not only lays the foundation for CSL's future IMS-based LTE advanced network deployment but also provides a significant reference for other operators, "said Xu Ziyang, President of ZTE's Core Network Products.

NSN Named Armando Almeida to lead Global Services

Armando Almeida has been appointed to lead the Global Services business at Nokia Siemens Networks, effective January 1, 2011. He will join the company's executive board and be based in Espoo, Finland. Almeida is currently responsible for sales and operations for the company in Latin America.

Ashish Chowdhary, the current head of Global Services, is moving to a newly created position: head of Customer Operations East. In this role, Chowdhary will lead the company's customer and business operations across India, Asia Pacific, Japan, Greater China and the Middle East. Chowdhary will continue to be a member of the executive board.

Conexant Names Chittipeddi as New President & COO

Conexant Systems named Sailesh Chittipeddi as its new president and chief operating officer. Chittipeddi joined Conexant in 2006 and served most recently as co-president, with responsibility for global engineering, operations, quality, IT, and associated infrastructure activities. In his new role, Chittipeddi will have worldwide responsibility for engineering, operations, quality, and marketing. He continues to report to Scott Mercer, Conexant's chairman and chief executive officer.

Prior to joining Conexant, Chittipeddi spent 17 years in several senior R&D and operations-related positions with Agere Systems, Lucent Technologies, AT&T Microelectronics, and AT&T Bell Labs. He also served as Lucent's SEMATECH representative, and was a member of the Technical Staff with AT&T Bell Labs.

PMC-Sierra Completes Acquisition of Wintegra

PMC-Sierra completed its previously announced acquisition of Wintegra, a privately-held developer of networking silicon. PMC-Sierra paid approximately $240 million in cash for the acquisition, less estimated cash and short-term deposits acquired of approximately $26 million at time of closing. Further, up to an additional $60 million of cash consideration may be paid if certain growth and performance milestones are reached by the end of 2011.

Wintegra's WinPath family of network processors is used in 3G/4G base stations, fiber and microwave cell-site routers, as well as radio network controllers deployed globally in mobile networks.

Wintegra has approximately 165 employees located primarily in Ra'anana, Israel, and Austin, Texas.

The acquisition of Wintegra expands PMC-Sierra's presence in Israel, where its FTTH business is based.

Politico: FCC to Take Initiative on Net Neutrality Regulations

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski may be preparing to push forward a proposal for new Net Neutrality regulations as early as next month, according to Politico -- a Washington D.C. insider's news site. Details of the proposal have not yet emerged, but the report notes that the likely timing of FCC action follows the failure of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to reach consensus on the issue ahead of this month's election. The upcoming change to Republican leadership of the committee makes its unlikely that new legislation on the issue will pass.