Thursday, December 2, 2010

Google to Acquire Widevine for Video DRM and Optimization

Google has agreed to acquire Widevine, a privately-held company that specializes in digital rights management (DRM) and video optimization tools. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Widevine's suite of video optimization tools leverage adaptive stream and QoS controls to match Internet video quality to a consumer's available bandwidth. Widevine's multiplatform DRM provides the capability to license, securely distribute and protect playback of multimedia content on any consumer device. Key customers include AT&T, Best Buy, Blockbuster, Deutsche Telekom, DISH Network, LOVEFiLM, Netflix, Telstra, VUDU and leading consumer electronics companies. For instance, Telstra's BigPond TV recently started delivering linear broadcast television channels over the Internet using Widevine's live adaptive streaming, virtual DVD experience and digital rights management (DRM) platform. Widevine is based in Seattle.

Google said it is committed to maintaining Widevine's agreements and will provide direct, quality support for their existing and future clients. Google also plans to build upon Widevine's technology to enhance both Widevine's products and its own.

Google noted that it is now getting 2 billion views per day on YouTube.
  • Widevine was founded in 1999 and is funded by Constellation Ventures, Cisco Systems, Charter Ventures, Dai Nippon Printing Co., Ltd. (DNP), Pacesetter Capital Group, The Phoenix Partners, TELUS and VantagePoint Venture Partners.

  • Widevine is headed by Brian Baker, founder and CEO. Its technical team is led by Glenn Morten, Executive Vice President of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer; and Dr. Jeremy Horwitz, Vice President of Security Research and Co-founder.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Egypt's Mobinil Adds Mobile Advertising Service with ALU

Mobinil, Egypt's leading mobile operator, has introduced interactive, mobile advertising tailored to the interests of individual subscribers.

Based on Alcatel-Lucent's Optism mobile marketing solution, it provides Mobinil's customers with a permission and preference-based mobile advertising service. The service invites Mobinil's nearly 30 million customers to opt-in to receive ads and offers from their favorite brands. By sharing their interests with Mobinil, customers can receive promotions, discounts, content and exclusive opportunities.

The companies report that during an initial soft launch, more than 200,000 subscribers opted-in and used the service successfully. Advertiser partners at launch included Adidas and Nokia, who both have experienced higher response rates in comparison to other digital media.

"In response to the dynamic situation in the mobile industry, Mobinil is naturally involved in an array of multi-faceted business partnerships, which includes being an internet service provider, a banking services provider, an entertainment portal, or a media agency. It is in this context that we are entering into this strategic partnership with Alcatel-Lucent in this area," said Hassan Kabbani, Mobinil CEO.

Dell'Oro: 10 Gigabit Ethernet and Data Center Switch Market Grows 33%

The Ethernet Switch market reached record revenue and port shipments in the third quarter, as revenues grew 33 percent year-over-year, according to a new report from Dell'Oro Group. Cisco, HP and Juniper added the most during the third quarter in incremental revenue in L2-L3 switching, while F5 added the most incremental revenue in L4-7 Server Load Balancing.

"10 Gigabit Ethernet and data center switches continue to drive most of the revenue growth in the Ethernet Switch market," said Alan Weckel, Director of Ethernet Switch Market Research at Dell'Oro Group. "While we expect overall market growth to slow considerably in 2011, we expect data center products will continue to expand in 2011, led by 10 Gigabit Ethernet as it continues to grow not only as a server connectivity technology, but also as an aggregation technology within the data center," Weckel added.

The report indicates that data center deployments including 10 GE Top-of-Rack for server access are driving most of the revenue growth in the market. Vendors in this space include Arista, Blade, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Extreme, Force 10, HP, and Juniper. The report also indicates that the majority of revenue growth in 2011 will come from these products.

Malaysia's Packet One Selects Juniper Networks For New MPLS Core

Packet One Networks, Malaysia's leading 4G WiMAX service provider, has deployed Juniper Networks MX Series Universal Edge Routers to create a new high-speed, service-enabling MPLS core network. The previous MPLS network had a single-layer star topology, while the new architecture has two layers: Juniper Networks MX960 routers are deployed at the central core and MX480 routers for regional aggregation.

Packet One acquired one of Malaysia's four WiMAX licenses in March 2007, and was first to market with its service launch in August 2008. In the following 12 months, it signed up more than 80,000 customers, including a sizable share of new broadband business customers in competition with the incumbent fixed network service provider. To date, Packet One has over 200,000 subscribers.

"The broadband market is relatively under-served in Malaysia and we are supporting the government's goal of reaching 50 percent of households by the end of this year. We are on track to extend our 4G WiMAX coverage to 45 percent of Malaysians households by the end of this year, with the goal of hitting 65 percent by 2012," said Michael Lai, CEO of Packet One.

Clearwire Sees $1.1 Billion in New Financing

Clearwire to raise approximately $1.1 billion through a debt offering to serve general corporate purposes, including capital expenditures. Specifically, Clearwire Communications is offering $175.0 million first-priority senior secured notes due 2015, $500.0 million of second-priority secured notes due 2017 and $500.0 million of exchangeable notes due 2040 and will grant the initial purchasers of the exchangeable notes an option to purchase up to an additional $100.0 million of exchangeable notes.

In addition, the company announced that Sprint will submit three new nominations to fill the vacant seats on Clearwire's board of directors. Those individuals are:

Mr. William R. Blessing is currently a consultant to Burns & McDonnell where he advises clients on smart grid and telecommunications strategy. Prior to this, he served as Senior Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Development for Embarq Corporation, an integrated communications services provider. He also held various executive positions with Sprint from 1990 to 2005.

Mr. Mufit Cinali is currently a Managing Director with Springwell Capital Partners, LLC. He has also held strategy, development and M&A positions with Hughes Electronics Corporation, AT&T, GE Capital Corporation, and Bain and Company.

Dr. Hossein Eslambolchi holds extensive experience in the telecommunications industry and is currently a technical advisor to Ericsson Corporation and the University of California School of Engineering. He has held several senior positions with AT&T including global Chief Technology Officer, global Chief Information Officer, Chief President and Chief Executive Officer of AT&T Labs and AT&T Global Network Services.

Dell'Oro: Ethernet Switch Market Grows 33% YoY

The Ethernet Switch market reached record revenue and port shipments in the third quarter, as revenues grew 33 percent year-over-year, according to a new report from Dell'Oro group. Cisco, HP and Juniper added the most during the third quarter in incremental revenue in L2-L3 switching, while F5 added the most incremental revenue in L4-7 Server Load Balancing.

"10 Gigabit Ethernet and data center switches continue to drive most of the revenue growth in the Ethernet Switch market," said Alan Weckel, Director of Ethernet Switch Market Research at Dell'Oro Group. "While we expect overall market growth to slow considerably in 2011, we expect data center products will continue to expand in 2011, led by 10 Gigabit Ethernet as it continues to grow not only as a server connectivity technology, but also as an aggregation technology within the data center," Weckel added.

The report indicates that data center deployments including 10 GE Top-of-Rack for server access are driving most of the revenue growth in the market. Vendors in this space include Arista, Blade, Brocade, Cisco, Dell, Extreme, Force 10, HP, and Juniper. The report also indicates that the majority of revenue growth in 2011 will come from these products.

Dell'Oro: DSL Shipment Revenues Rise in Q3

Third quarter DSL revenues were higher over the year-ago period for the first time in three years, driven by demand for access concentrator port shipments, which reached their highest level in almost two years, according to anew report from Dell'Oro Group.

"Port shipment strength resulted from several factors including record VDSL port shipments to support high-bandwidth upgrade projects, an easing of supply chain constraints that allowed some vendors to clear backlog, and a recovering global economy," said Tam Dell'Oro, President of Dell'Oro Group. "Year-on-year growth was greatest in Latin America followed by Europe, Middle East and Africa, while DSL access concentrator port shipments to China were lower due to Chinese operators shifting their broadband focus to deploying fiber utilizing PON technology," Dell'Oro added.

The report shows that Alcatel-Lucent regained the overall port share lead over Huawei for the first time in a year, partially due to strong VDSL shipments to the US, Europe and Asia. Huawei's overall port shipments declined sequentially as strong shipments of VDSL to Europe was not enough to offset lower ADSL shipments to most regions.

The Switch Signs Verizon for East Coast Expansion

The Switch, which provides advanced video switching services for broadcasters, has entered into an agreement with Verizon that will expand its ability to offer high definition video services to the broadcast television marketplace on the East Coast. The arrangement enables The Switch to expand its national digital fiber transport services to comprise 31 states and Washington, DC. The Switch customers can now employ metro fiber optic services, including Verizon High Definition 1.485 Gbps, HD/SDI and Standard Definition 270 Mbps SDI local fiber circuits in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C.

Motorola Mobility to Acquire 4Home

Motorola Mobility agreed to acquire 4Home, a developer of a software and services platform for digital homes, for an undisclosed sum.

4Home's carrier-grade software platform, ControlPoint, enables home services such as energy management, home security and monitoring, media management and home health. ControlPoint is based on a customizable design, using open standards that allow partners to develop compelling new services for consumers that utilize the growing number of connected devices in the home.

Motorola Mobility said the acquisition helps broaden its vision of converged experiences in the home.
  • 4Home is based in Sunnyvale, California. Its investors include Pond Venture Partners, Parker Price Venture Capital and Verizon Investments.

  • 4Home has been working with Verizon's LTE Innovation Center and the companies previously showcased applications running over an LTE network at the Consumer Electronic Show in January.

Cellcom Israel Suffers Major Outage

Cellcom Israel, a leading Israeli cellular provider with approximately 3.376 million subscribers, suffered a major network outage on December 1. The company has since resumed full service and will refund all its subscribers for all calls and SMS messages in Israel, in the last week (November 25, 2010 to December 1, 2010, included). The company also said it was aware of several class action lawsuits that have been filed.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

IBM Advances its CMOS Nanophotonics

IBM announced significant advances in its path to integrate electrical and optical devices on the same piece of silicon. The new CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonics, which is the result of a decade of development at IBM's global Research laboratories, promises over 10X improvement in integration density than is feasible with current manufacturing techniques.

IBM said it anticipates that Silicon Nanophotonics will dramatically increase the speed and performance between chips. In addition to combining electrical and optical devices on a single chip, the new IBM technology can be produced on the front-end of a standard CMOS manufacturing line. Transistors can share the same silicon layer with silicon nanophotonics devices. To make this approach possible, IBM researchers have developed a suite of integrated ultra-compact active and passive silicon nanophotonics devices that are all scaled down to the diffraction limit -- the smallest size that dielectric optics can afford. This makes possible the integration of modulators, germanium photodetectors and ultra-compact wavelength-division multiplexers with high-performance analog and digital CMOS circuitry.

"The development of the Silicon Nanophotonics technology brings the vision of on-chip optical interconnections much closer to reality," said Dr. T.C. Chen, vice president, Science and Technology, IBM Research. "With optical communications embedded into the processor chips, the prospect of building power-efficient computer systems with performance at the Exaflop level is one step closer to reality."

"Our CMOS Integrated Nanophotonics breakthrough promises unprecedented increases in silicon chip function and performance via ubiquitous low-power optical communications between racks, modules, chips or even within a single chip itself," said Dr. Yurii A. Vlasov, Manager of the Silicon Nanophotonics Department at IBM Research. "The next step in this advancement is to establishing manufacturability of this process in a commercial foundry using IBM deeply scaled CMOS processes."

IBM has been pursuing an ambitious Exascale computing program, which is aimed at developing a supercomputer that can perform one million trillion calculations—or an Exaflop—in a single second. This development is seen as a milestone along this path.
  • In March 2010, IBM announced a Germanium Avalanche Photodetector working at 40 Gbps with CMOS compatible voltages as low as 1.5V. This was the last piece of the puzzle that completes the prior development of the “nanophotonics toolbox�? of devices necessary to build the on-chip interconnects.

  • In March 2008, IBM scientists announced the world’s tiniest nanophotonic switch for "directing traffic" in on-chip optical communications, ensuring that optical messages can be efficiently routed.

  • December 2007, IBM scientists announced the development of an ultra-compact silicon electro-optic modulator, which converts electrical signals into the light pulses, a prerequisite for enabling on-chip optical communications.

  • December 2006, IBM scientists demonstrated silicon nanophotonic delay line that was used to buffer over a byte of information encoded in optical pulses - a requirement for building optical buffers for on-chip optical communications.

Ericsson Acquires Nortel's R&D Group in Guangzhou, China

Ericsson will acquire certain assets of the Guangdong Nortel Telecommunication Equipment Company Ltd (GDNT) for US$50 million. GDNT is a leading research, development and manufacturing company based in China and an important supplier to Ericsson following the acquisitions of the CDMA and GSM businesses of Nortel.

GDNT was founded in 1995 as a joint venture between Nortel, a Canadian Telecommunications Company and local Chinese corporations and telecom operators. The transaction also includes R&D facilities, manufacturing facilities as well as support and customer service in China. Some 1,100 employees, including approximately 550 R&D engineers will be integrated in to the Ericsson group over the coming months.

Beceem Co-Founder Awarded IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal

Dr. Arogyaswami Paulraj, a co-founder of Beceem Communications, has been named the recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' (IEEE) Alexander Graham Bell Medal, the organization's most prestigious honor. Dr. Paulraj is a pioneer in MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) wireless technology, which relies on multiple radio antennas as both the transmitter and receiver to improve communications performance. An emeritus professor at Stanford University, where he supervises the Smart Antennas Research Group. He recently joined Broadcom through its acquisition of Beceem. Dr. Paulraj will continue as a senior technical advisor to Broadcom.

Dr. Paulraj is the author of two text books and more than 400 research papers and is an inventor on 50-plus U.S. patents. His IEEE recognitions include the Technical Achievement Award and several best paper awards. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World and several other national academies in Sweden and India. He has also won more than a dozen national awards in India, including the Padma Bhushan, one of India's highest civilian awards.

Aricent offers "Total Testing" for Mobile

Aricent announced a "Total Testing" service aimed at telecom equipment manufacturers, communications service providers (CSPs), and mobile device makers. The service offers a specialized test facility in Newbury, United Kingdom, and highly qualified domain experts.

Vodafone UK is among the early users of the service.

The service is capable of testing 2G/2.5G/3G/3.5G networks. With this announcement, Aricent now provides comprehensive testing services for applications, mobile devices, and telecom equipment, including:

* Interoperability Testing: Testing for the interoperability of any network equipment element with access, backhaul, core and other applications in a real 2G/2.5G/3G/3.5G network

* Integration Testing: Ensuring complete integration of the equipment being tested with all 3rd party components that need to be directly connected in the core and access networks, as well as with external systems

* End-to-end Testing: Identification and evaluation of end-to-end key performance indicators (KPIs) in a live multi-vendor environment

* Device Certification: Network acceptance testing and certification, as international roaming capability testing of new mobile devices.

MetroPCS Launches LTE in San Francisco Bay Area

MetroPCS Communications launched its LTE service in the San Francisco Bay Area, offering plans starting at $55 per month including taxes and regulatory fees. Initially, METROPCS is providing Samsung Craft LTE handset with unlimited talk, text and enhanced entertainment and web browsing features.

MetroPCS now provides 4G LTE services in six metropolitan areas, including Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia. MetroPCS has plans to expand its 4G services into more major metropolitan areas later this year and into early 2011, including Atlanta, Boston, Jacksonville, Miami, New York, Orlando, Sacramento and Tampa.

NTT Comm. Builds Low Latency, Trans-Pacific Data Connections

NTT America is supplying major commodity exchanges, investment firms, and hedge funds with low latency routes available for transpacific data connections. NTT America is now offering off-the-shelf services between Chicago and Tokyo, and New York City and Tokyo, as well as industry leading service level agreements (SLAs), including some of the lowest transpacific latency available in the industry. These data routes have proven critical in the success of high-frequency trading (HFT) and algorithmic trading for the financial markets and are available through NTT America via NTT Communications' acquisition of Pacific Crossing and the PC-1 transpacific cable system.

CERN Selects Brocade MLXe Core Routers

CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) has selected Brocade MLXe Core Routers as part of a network infrastructure upgrade to support its high throughput computing (HTC) requirements and a data environment that exceeds 15 petabytes (15 million gigabytes) per year.

CERN operates a distributed computing network called the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG) with a current non-blocking capacity of the core is in the region of 4.2 Tbps, and has doubled in the last two years. CERN projects that its capacity will reach more than 10 Tbps in 2011.

CERN's network upgrade will include the full range of Brocade MLXe-32, MLXe-16 and MLXe-8 routers with 100 GbE capabilities.

"The origins of the universe have intrigued mankind for generations, and CERN's work is pivotal in furthering our understanding," stated Alberto Soto, vice president EMEA at Brocade. "The volumes of data generated by the LHC's experiments are mind-blowing, but the WLCG collaboration has developed an extremely efficient method of collecting and analysing this information. With the addition of the Brocade MLXe solution, CERN is future-proofing its network to ensure that it continues its work, and Brocade is delighted to be part of this journey."
  • In September 2010, Brocade introduced its MLXe Core Router and 100 GbE blade designed to address the exponential traffic surge that carriers are experiencing worldwide. Significantly, Brocade said its MLXe routers, which will be offered in 4-, 8-, 16- and 32-slot configurations, enable new 100 GbE price/performance points that drive the 100G market forward for carrier core networks as well as next-generation virtualized data centers. The new 100 GbE blade also integrates with and operates across existing Brocade MLX, Brocade MLXe and NetIron XMR routers.

    The Brocade MLXe offers a 15.36 Terabits per second (Tbps) fabric, which is nine times the system capacity of competing routers. It provides four times the 100 GbE wire-speed density of existing systems, while its 4.8 billion packets per second performance provides five times the IPv6 forwarding capacity.

OIF Approves Security Agreement

The Optical Internetworking Forum (OIF) approved a new Implementation Agreement (IA) for securing the control plane protocols specified in the OIF's UNI and E-NNI IAs. Specifically, the Security Extension for UNI and E-NNI 2.0 IA specifies an optional-to-implement profile of IPsec for securing the control plane. It defines a complete, high-quality, interoperable system to secure all control plane traffic exchanged between two network elements. It also defines additional security services and mechanisms that implementations can include for fine-grained control of security.

In addition, members elected new working group chairs and board members. Newly elected to the OIF board of directors are Vishnu Shukla of Verizon, Lyndon Ong of Ciena, and Torsten Wuth of Nokia Siemens Networks. Shukla will serve as the vice president, Ong as the vice president of marketing and Wuth as a board member.

The membership re-elected Martha Fratt of AT&T and Ghani Abbas of Ericsson as board members. Fratt will continue her role as the OIF treasurer/secretary.

Jim Jones of Alcatel-Lucent, an existing board member, will serve as the new president of the OIF. Rounding out the board of directors is Jeff Hutchins of Cisco Systems who continues to serve as a board member.

Newly elected working group chairs are Remi Theillaud of Marben Products as Architecture and Signaling Working Group chair and Tom Palkert of Luxtera as Physical and Link Layer Interoperability Working Group chair. Torsten Wuth was re-elected as the Physical Layer User Group chair.

GENBAND Opens in Ireland

GENBAND will establish an International Headquarters and Business Services Centre in Galway, Ireland. The expansion represents an EUR 8 million investment by the company and will create more than 100 new jobs. GENBAND's decision is supported by the Irish Government with the aid of IDA Ireland (Industrial Development Agency).

ASSIA Licenses its DSL Phantom Mode Technology

ASSIA Inc. is making available licenses to essential patents for DSL Phantom Mode Technology. DSL Phantom Mode significantly increases the speeds of DSL services provided over multiple copper pairs.

The key ASSIA invention that makes Phantom Mode communication practical is the DSL modems' discrimination between the deliberate phantom communication signals and the resultant undesirable crosstalk that these phantoms create through electromagnetic (radio) coupling between the pairs of wires. ASSIA's inventors discovered that this crosstalk could be removed by the application of vectoring, making Phantom Mode communication practical.

"Recent Phantom Mode product announcements, advertising speeds of more than 800 Mbps, substantiate the importance of this technology, which ASSIA developed some years ago," said Dr. John Cioffi, ASSIA's Chairman and CEO. Major DSL vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, and Nokia Siemens Networks, have recently demonstrated or announced Phantom Mode products.