Thursday, December 16, 2010

AOptix Wins $11.4 Million DARPA Grant for Free Space Optical

AOptix Technologies has been awarded a $11.4 million contract to deliver wireless air and ground optical terminals for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Free Space Optical Experimental Network Experiment (FOENEX) program.

Under subcontract to Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab (JHU/APL), AOptix will build and flight-validate their Free Space Optical (FSO) terminals at up to 10Gbps and 200 kilometers on various aircraft as well as static ground stations.

"This program will build on years of successful flight test programs where AOptix has delivered a number of firsts in bandwidth and distance for FSO communications" says Dean Senner, president and CEO of AOptix. "We're working very hard with our partners to deploy ultra-high bandwidth solutions, bringing on-line, real-time, sensor data communications capabilities to enable warfighter operations."

The AOptix wireless bi-directional optical terminals utilize a unique patented, single aperture, adaptive optics method of beam control to compensate for real-time atmospheric turbulence while maintaining lock between two terminals. Video, voice and data is transmitted through the air over an infrared, low power, FSO laser link.

Motorola Spin-Offs Make Market Debut

The two divisions of Motorola made their market debuts on Friday with the launch of "when issued" shares. The official split occurs on January 4.

Motorola Mobility Holdings (MMI) is the company's smartphone division. It closed at $25 on Friday.

Motorola Solutions Inc. (MSI) is the company's division that includes public safety radios, handheld scanners and telecom gear. It closed at $40.51.

Both companies will continue to use the Motorola brand.http://

A1 Telekom Austria Pushes DSL Capacity with ALU

A1 Telekom Austria is now reaching 40% of all Austrian households and commercial businesses through its nationwide GigaNet, which uses FTTC (Fiber-to-the-curb) and FTTEx (Fiber-to-the-exchange, also known as VDSL@CO), to deliver high-speed Internet service.

The carrier now its pushing the envelope of its copper access network by demonstrating next-gen technologies such as VDSL Vectoring and the so-called "Phantom Mode". In the course of the demo, using a combination of Bonding, Vectoring and Phantom Mode, downstream speeds up to 390 Mbps at 400 meters were shown.

"Complementing our fiber infrastructure and continuously increasing wireless capacities, we want to get the most out of our existing copper-based network," said Dr. Hannes Ametsreiter, General Manager A1 Telekom Austria. "This is how we can provide our customers with the highest bandwidths in the shortest timeframe, especially in regions where fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) build-outs have not yet been planned."

Alcatel-Lucent said DSL vectoring is capable of delivering a significant increase in downstream capacity by preventing interference or "crosstalk" between copper lines.

"Telecom service providers have invested a great deal in their copper infrastructure and for economic and environmental reasons it makes sense to continue to use this valuable asset as long as possible - even as they move traffic to fiber," said Harald Himmer, Head of Alcatel-Lucent's business in Austria. "As a leader in fixed broadband we are able to dramatically increase bandwidth rates with our innovative technologies. With commercial availability, we can provide even more customers with higher bandwidth along with world-class quality services."

Swisscom Partners with IWB on Open Access FTTH in Basel

Swisscom and IWB (Industrielle Werke Basel), the local utilities operator, announced a plan to bring FTTH connections to all households and businesses in Basel by the end of 2017. Under the joint venture, Swisscom will assume 60% and IWB 40% of a total investment of around CHF 170 million. The fibre-optic cables that have already been installed by Swisscom and IWB in Basel will be included in the joint venture between the two companies. This will substantially reduce the amount of construction work required in Basel. IWB has assumed responsibility for overall coordination of construction and operation.

The rollout will take an open architecture approach. Four fibres will reach every premise. IWB's Layer 1 offer of dark optical fibres guarantees that other providers have non-discriminatory access to the fibre-optic network in Basel.

Basel will be one of the very first cities in Switzerland to enjoy city-wide FTTH.

Swisscom has already installed cables in large parts of the city of Basel. These are being incorporated in their entirety into the joint venture. IWB started a joint pilot project and handled much of the preliminary work. IWB will soon be launching a product range for service providers who want to offer products and services on the fibre optic network in Basel.

ST Intros New Set-top-box Decoder/Demodulators

STMicroelectronics unveiled two new System-on-Chip ICs that allow standard-definition (SD) or high-definition (HD) equipment to share the same printed-circuit-board (PCB) design. The new devices are based on the widely used STi7167 and STi5267, respectively. Targeting free-to-air, cable and terrestrial STBs, as well as hybrid products with added support for IPTV, each device combines the STB decoder with DVB-C cable and DVB-T terrestrial demodulators, plus optional Ethernet support. Each device supports targeted functions for cost-optimized STBs with built-in security features. Both are implemented in 55nm process technology.

AT&T Boosts Dividend by 2.4%

AT&T announced a 2.4 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend and a 300 million share repurchase authorization, representing about 5 percent of outstanding shares. The quarterly dividend rate has risen from $0.42 to $0.43 a share on a quarterly basis, which would be an increase from $1.68 to $1.72 a share on an annualized basis.

Mitsubishi Electric to Launch WCDMA Power Amplifiers

Mitsubishi Electric will launch five new gallium arsenic (GaAs) power amplifiers for WCDMA devices. Mitsubishi Electric said it has achieved an industry-leading power added efficiency (PAE) of 45 percent, enabling lower power consumption and heat emission in data terminals. The design incorporates GaAs bipolar field effect transistor (BiFET) technology for high PAE and high level of integration.

Nortel Completes Sale of Ottawa Campus

Nortel Networks completed the sale of its Ottawa Carling Campus to Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) for a cash purchase price of CDN$208 million. Nortel will continue to occupy parts of the campus while continuing work on its global restructuring, including work under the transition services agreements with the various buyers of Nortel's sold businesses.

The purchaser has exercised early termination rights to a lease held by Ciena, the purchaser of Nortel's Optical Networking and Carrier Ethernet (MEN) business. This shortens the lease from 10 years to 5 years. This resulted, pursuant to a lease with Ciena, in the payment to Ciena of US$33.5 million from funds escrowed in connection with the closing of the MEN sale.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Broadband Forum: Fiber Work Advances as Copper "Still in the Game"

An interview with Tom Starr, President and Chairman, Broadband Forum

Bell Labs Partners with Belgium's IBBT

Alcatel-Lucent's Bell Labs and Belgian research institute IBBT are establishing a joint research lab to focus on video communications. The joint lab aims to efficiently integrate fundamental and applied research in order to unlock the value of these new dimensions of video communications within the marketplace. Specifically, the joint lab expects to introduce capabilities imbued with "intelligence" to analyze the content of a video transmission as well as understand user preferences in order to create a viewer experience that is more relevant, more valuable, and more compelling. A complementary initiative will introduce a capability for high-speed access networks to accommodate this information when deciding the optimal means for delivering that content, adapting as conditions and requirements change.

"Engaging in collaborative programs with other research institutions is essential to the Bell Labs research model and an area in which we have extensive experience," said Danny Goderis, vice-president, Bell Labs. "We look forward to employing our competencies in forming such collaborations in order to make the joint research lab with IBBT a true success story."

euNetworks Builds Low-Latency London to Stockholm Route

euNetworks launched a new ultra low latency route from London to Stockholm dedicated to the financial services community. euNetworks has reduced the previous leading latency on the London to Stockholm route by 12%. This new straight point-to-point route offers a round trip time of 22.4 milliseconds.

The company noted high demand for new low-latency routes introduced in Q3 linking Slough to London and London to Frankfurt.

RadiSys Trims Guidance

RadiSys anticipates its Q4 2010 revenue and earnings to be lower than its previously stated guidance, or between $62 and $64 million, down from the previous guidance of $68 to $72 million. The company expects a GAAP fourth quarter net loss of between $0.15 and $0.20 per share, down from the prior guidance of breakeven to net income of $0.05 per diluted share.

"While much of our business is performing well relative to our original fourth quarter guidance, we recently received news that our projected fourth quarter revenue with a large North America media server end customer is expected to be significantly lower. Specifically, our end customer reprioritized their capital expenditures in the quarter and removed a planned set of media server feature enhancements from their fourth quarter deployment programs. We have a long term deployment history with this end customer and expect that both feature and capacity upgrades will continue to be a key part of their plans going into 2011 and beyond," stated Scott Grout, RadiSys President and CEO.

SFR Deploys its First 100G Link with Cisco and Ciena

SFR has established its first 100 Gbps backbone line between Paris and Bordeaux using equipment from Ciena and Cisco.

SFR also confirmed its first 42 Mbps HSPA+ connections on the 3G mobile network at a trial site in Lyon. The company also noted that customers in Paris, Lyon and Marseille can already enjoy mobile broadband at up to 21 Mbps with 300 sites connected to its network in late 2010.

Canada's Barrett Xplore Selects Ciena's Carrier Ethernet for 4G Backhaul

Barrett Xplore, which is deploying a 4G network for rural Canada, has selected Ciena's ActivEdge 3920 Service Delivery Switch for Ethernet-based backhaul. The deployment marks Ciena's first, major nationwide deployment of its Carrier Ethernet Services Delivery (CESD) in Canada.

Ciena noted that its CESD portfolio has been deployed by more than 100 carriers, wireless service providers, cable operators and new entrants in 25 countries, primarily for mobile backhaul and business services.

Bridgewater Signs 4-Year, $56M Deal with Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless awarded a new four-year framework contract to Bridgewater Systems signed for products and services supporting its network expansion. The contract was valued at approximately US$ 56 million.

Under the agreement, Bridgewater will provide mobile control solutions as well as maintenance and support services for all current and future 3G solutions. In addition, the agreement provides the framework for Bridgewater to deliver new products and services to support Verizon Wireless' ongoing network expansion across multiple access networks.

Blue Coat Names Steve Daheb as CMO

Blue Coat Systems has appointed Steve Daheb as chief marketing officer (CMO) and senior vice president. Mr. Daheb was most recently the chief marketing officer for Emulex Corporation. He previously served in a number of executive sales, marketing and business development roles for a variety of networking companies, including BlueArc, Tasman Networks, Brocade and Lucent/Ascend. His

Deutsche Telekom Extends 5-Year Contract with René Obermann

The Supervisory Board of Deutsche Telekom has extended René Obermann's contract as Chairman of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom AG by a further five years. His current contract expires on October 31, 2011. The new contract will run until the end of October 2016.

IMEWE Submarine Cable Enters Service

The new India Middle East Western Europe (IMEWE) submarine cable linking eight countries has entered commercial service. The 13,000-km cable, which has a potential capacity of 3.84 Tbps, serves eight countries: India, Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, Italy and France. Carrier partners include France Telecom-Orange, Bharti, Etisalat, Ogero, Pakistan Telecom, Saudi Telecom, Telecom Egypt, Telecom Italia Sparkle and Tata Communications. The project represents a total investment of around US$480 million, about US$60 million of which came from France Telecom-Orange.